The Atlanta Hawks were back in action on Friday in their first game of a back-to-back against the Utah Jazz. They completed the mission, defeating the Jazz 115-108.
The Hawks came out with their foot on the gas, going up by double digits early in the game. Dejounte Murray found John Collins on the break for a dunk that didn’t go in at first, but found its way in the basket.
JC SOMEHOW gets the basket— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 4, 2023
(yes it counted) pic.twitter.com/esImv3s6mL
Trae Young, who may have been snubbed from a very special game coming up in a few weeks, came out like he had something to prove in the first quarter.
The Hawks led by as much as 15 early in the second quarter, as the second unit came out aggressive. Onyeka Okongwu would not be denied on this and-one.
Big O gonna get his 3 points no matter where he's at pic.twitter.com/VOVhZd0MU5— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 4, 2023
The Hawks were relentless in the first half, hustling on the boards and trying to get second-chance points. Here's De’Andre Hunter working hard for the bucket.
Up by as much as 22 points in the first half, the Hawks may have gotten too complacent, which the Jazz took advantage of down the stretch and cut their deficit. Going into halftime, the Hawks led 62-50.
The Jazz tried their best to get back into the game early in the second half, but Young wouldn’t allow it.
Float game like the Great Salt Lake is right outside pic.twitter.com/Kb8q4gcyuZ— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 4, 2023
Hunter played strong in the third quarter, scoring 10 points which included this mid-range shot.
Dre hoopin' in the 3rd, he has 10 this quarter pic.twitter.com/kmARtWtQ4I— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 4, 2023
The Jazz continued to knock on the door, but that’s when Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench and provided a few threes for the Hawks. Going into the fourth quarter, the Hawks led 91-78.
The Hawks extended their lead in the fourth, and AJ Griffin contributed with a three-pointer of his own.
The Jazz tried to make it interesting in midway through the quarter but the Hawks had an answer almost every time. Hunter continued his big night in the fourth, knocking down shot after shot.
With less than 4 minutes left, Jordan Clarkson hit back-to-back threes to cut the Hawks lead down to five points. The Hawks answered with a few shots of their own, but it was Hunter who sealed the game with 21 seconds left with a dagger three-pointer.
Young finished with 27 points and six assists, Hunter finished with 26 points, and Okongwu finished with 15 points and 11 assists.
The Hawks will be back in action tomorrow evening against the Denver Nuggets.