De’Andre Hunter had one of the best games of his Hawks career against the Nets

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Last night’s loss to the Kevin Durant and James Harden-led Nets can be mainly attributed to the run Brooklyn went on to end the third quarter. With under five minutes remaining, the game was tied at 75, but the Nets would go on a 20-4 run to end the quarter.

Trae Young didn’t play exceptionally well as he put up 21 points on 6-of-22 scoring; however, he did add ten assists and nine rebounds.┬áThere were positives from Wednesday’s loss, though; namely Kevin Huerter‘s best performance of the season. After signing a lucrative extension this offseason, Red Velvet was off to a slow start. In his first six games of the season, he averaged just 4.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 28.6% shooting from the field and 15% from beyond the arc.

Then, Nate McMillan decided to give Huerter the night off against the Wizards, for which he was rewarded. Red Velvet had his best game of the season, scoring 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, but he wasn’t the only one who had his best game of the season.

De’Andre Hunter was coming off surgery and felt the effects in his early season performances, but that all changed last night against the Nets. Even though the Hawks lost 117-108, Hunter played 33 minutes and dropped 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting, going a perfect 6-for-6 from deep in what was his most complete performance in a Hawks uniform.

The 26 points were a season-high for Hunter, who was scoring in every way possible, including a powerful driving dunk on Blake Griffin in the third quarter. Hunter couldn’t seem to miss, but that wasn’t even where he was most impressive.

In almost every Hawks game, Hunter will draw the opposing team’s best offensive player, which is usually an All-Star-caliber talent. This time, Hunter drew Kevin Durant, one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. Even though Durant finished with 32 points, he struggled when Hunter guarded him. With the third-year wing on the floor, the Hawks defensive rating was 106, but that figure jumped to 166.7 with Hunter off the floor.

Even though most of the hype surrounds Cam Reddish, Hunter is the Hawks’ best two-way player right now. He had one of his most impressive all-around performances, scoring in many ways while checking one of the greatest scorers of all time. Hopefully, this type of thing continues because the Hawks need Hunter to recapture the magic he found last season while staying healthy.

 

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