The Hawks were unable to overcome a poor shooting performance across the board, and fall to 14-19 on the season after a 118-109 loss to the Thunder. Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter were sorely missed, as the Hawks struggled mightily at the point of attack all night. The Thunder came into the game with the 30th ranked offense in the NBA, but that did not stop them from making shots when it mattered tonight. OKC finished the night shooting 52% from the field, and 38% from three with 16 makes. Not only did the Thunder outshoot the Hawks, but they also moved the ball more efficiently on offense, finishing with 31 assists to Atlanta’s 21.
The Hawks came out trading shots with the Thunder, and ended the first up two with 33 points. However, the Hawks were unable to keep up that pace with the Thunder on offense, and struggled to protect the paint. The Thunder took advantage of the Hawks allowing them to get to the rim, shooting 20-26 inside the arc after two quarters. Heading into the locker room at halftime, the Hawks faced an 8 point deficit.
After halftime the Thunder were forced to change uniforms, as the Hawks’ red uniforms were deemed too close in color to the Thunder’s orange. The Thunder released a statement saying the Hawks were not meant to be in red, but because it was Atlanta’s only uniform packed for the road trip, the Thunder were forced to change. This uniform mixup was not the only disorganization Atlanta faced, as all night miscues on defense plagued the team.
The Hawks seemed to come out of the locker room with a new energy however, and pulled within three points after a pair of threes from Kevin Huerter and John Collins around the nine minute mark. From there though it was all OKC, with the Thunder getting to the lane and the free throw line at will in the quarter. Clint Capela, who dominated the glass throughout the night, had a nice tip in after his own miss with five seconds left. This however was immediately upstaged by a pull up, logo distance three from Hawks legend Mike Muscala for the Thunder. This gave OKC a 16 point lead going into the 4th.
While the Thunder held strong for most of the last quarter, the Hawks were able to cut the lead down to six after a pair of offensive rebounds lead to a catch and shoot three from Trae Young. This was immediately countered by a three from Luguentz Dort, and a layup by Shai Gilgeous Alexander to get the lead back to 11. This was essentially the dagger, as the Hawks never pulled back within two possessions. Ultimately, the Hawks would fall 118-109 on what can only be described as a disappointing loss.
Young finished the game with 17/8/6 with makes on three of nine attempts from beyond the arc. He did not attempt a free throw. This was the first game without a free-throw attempt since a matchup with the Heat on 10/29/2019, in which he played only 11 minutes. While Young struggled to find his own shot, he still did a nice job of getting others involved throughout the night. Collins and Capela both enjoyed solid individual performances, with Collins scoring 25 points and Capela grabbing 21 rebounds. Another player of note was Skylar Mays, scoring 10 points off the bench in 13 minutes. The rookie two-way player from LSU seems to be earning more trust from Coach Lloyd Pierce each and every game.
The Hawks will look to put this loss behind them as they travel to Miami for a Sunday night matchup against the reigning Eastern Conference champs. Tip off is at 8:00 EST.