The Hawks matched up with the Oklahoma City Thunder in a weekday game. For Trae Young, it was a return to the state he called home for the first 19 years of his life. The Thunder welcomed back star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander whereas Atlanta tapped Jalen Johnson as the last starter in their usual Young-Murray-Hunter-Capela starting lineup.
The Hawks came out of the gates cold, scuffling to a 1-for-10 start from the floor. At the first timeout, the Thunder raced out to a 17-10 lead behind their good ball movement and lax Hawks rotations.
The Hawks struck back, however, behind the strength of their bench unit. Bogdan Bogdanovic proves he is still a professional bucket getter from deep here.
After one quarter, the Hawks trailed just 29-28 after a last second tip-in from Jalen Johnson.
JJ gets the tip-in at the buzzer! pic.twitter.com/JXVFMt7awV— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 7, 2023
Both teams were very sluggish to start the second quarter. And the Thunder used the lull to push the lead to double-digits behind their sharpshooting from deep and transition opportunities. However, towards the end of the period, the Hawks put together a run to pull to within eight points at the half, 58-50.
The Hawks only shot 34% effective field goal percentage (eFG%) to the Thunder’s 51% eFG%, so it was a modern miracle that Atlanta had kept it close. Dejounte Murray tallied 12 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 10 from off the bench by halfway point, but the Hawks would need to kick things into high gear to pull off yet another comeback.
The Hawks came out of the gates in the second half a lot like the first: creating second chances on the offensive boards but failing to execute in many other areas. Atlanta’s starters largely failed to cut into the lead, and the bench didn’t have many answers either.
After three quarters, the Hawks trailed 96-77 in a game that didn’t even feel that close.
But in the fourth quarter, the Hawks mounted a slow and steady comeback. They cut the lead to single digits on multiple occasions behind improved defense. Run outs in transition helped lead to good offense, like on this crosscourt pass to Dejounte Murray for a triple.
Still chipping away at this lead. pic.twitter.com/IC3rFricxN— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) November 7, 2023
Atlanta got to within five points late in the contest, but they never quite made it a one-possession game. The Hawks fell 126-117 in a comeback attempt that was a good bit short. Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 29 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
The Hawks will now travel to Mexico City to take on the Orlando Magic on Thursday, November 9th in what hopes to be a bounce back game.