For a team that was projected by many to be the worst in the NBA, the Hawks have looked nothing of the sort for the last two months. In their previous 24 games, they are an even 12-12 and coming off perhaps their most impressive stretch to date. Monday night’s 137-129 win in Washington gave the Hawks their fourth win in the final game of their grueling seven-game road trip that began on January 26th.
Like the Hawks have the entire road trip – and the whole season really- they provided plenty of offensive firepower against the Wizards. In the first half, it was the scorching hot shooting of Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman that got the Hawks going, nailing six three-pointers. John Collins did his thing too, scoring fifteen points and racking up eleven boards before suffering a facial laceration injury on the final play of the half. Unfortunately, Collins would not return. Although, it did not appear to be something that will keep him out an extended period.
Leading by just four at the break, Atlanta needed some of their role players to step up in Collins’s absence. Huerter and Spellman continued to answer the bell, finishing with a combined 35 points on 9-13 shooting from behind the arc. But the difference maker was Taurean Prince, who has been patiently waiting for one of these games since returning from an ankle injury that cost him over a month. He finished with a team-high 21 points on 7-10 from the field and 5-7 from three-point range.
It was that kind of night for the Hawks who made an absurd 20 shots from long-range. Even Vince Carter chipped in four three-pointers and sixteen points off the bench. Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Lin also had eleven points, making it nine Hawks players that reached double figures.
Oddly, the only player who did not seem to enjoy the scoring onslaught has been the Hawks hottest player. Trae Young shot an ugly 2-13 on the night, but he still found a way to impact the game, finishing with another double-double (10 points and 10 assists).
The 137 points the Hawks scored was the highest total of the entire road-trip and they did it without John Collins in the second half. Over those seven games, Atlanta is averaging 119.3 points and never scored less than 111 points.
On Thursday, the Hawks will finally return home for a test against one of the East’s best – the Toronto Raptors.