Things have not improved for the Hawks, especially on the road, where they were a whopping 2-13 on the season heading into Sunday’s matchup in Brooklyn. They would add to the losing side of their record, allowing the Nets to jump on them from the opening tip, outscoring the Hawks 42-23 in the first quarter.
Atlanta responded with an offensive masterpiece of their own in the second quarter. They put up 43 points behind big first halves from Dewayne Dedmon, who finished with a career-high 24 points, and Kent Bazemore. Unfortunately, the Hawks still had trouble slowing down the Nets. They would finish the quarter with 30 points of their own, giving them a six-point lead heading into the locker room.
That sort of pace wasn’t sustainable for Atlanta, but it was for Brooklyn. The Nets matched their first half total of 72 in the second-half as well. D’Angelo Russell led the way for the home team with 32 points. He was one of eight Nets players to reach double-figures on their way to a 144-127 win.
While the Hawks- as a team- were not able to keep pace. John Collins still put on a show once again for the Atlanta fans. He came a point shy of tying his career-high of 30 points in a game, and probably would have easily surpassed it had the game not been out of hand in the fourth quarter. However, his streak of six straight double-doubles did come to an end as he was only able to snag 8 boards in 34 minutes.
Collins has been a walking display of efficiency since the calendar turned to December. In six games this month, the second-year star out of Wake Forest is averaging 23.3 points on 60% shooting and 12.7 rebounds. Last year’s draft class was indeed loaded with star power, and after a little more than a year, it’s hard to find a bigger star than John Collins. These aren’t simply meaningless stats showing up on a poor Hawks team. This looks to be the start of something special- a light of positivity the Hawks are desperately searching for over this grueling 82-game stretch.
Outside of Collins, the rest of the Hawks starters performed admirably. Dedmon added 12 rebounds to his career-high in points. Kent Bazemore tacked on 20 of his own, and Trae Young put up another double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. Kevin Huerter was the only quite one in the starting lineup, taking four shots and making two of them for 4 points.
The Hawks head home to take on the Washington Wizards Tuesday night at 7:30 PM ET.