The Atlanta Hawks’ stay in Las Vegas has come to an end as they have been eliminated from NBA Summer League play following a 78-71 loss to the Houston Rockets in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Houston held a one-point lead over Atlanta in the final two minutes and ended the game on a 6-0 run to seal the win, punching their ticket to the semifinals on Sunday.
The Hawks had a couple of opportunities to tie the game late, but missed a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch before the Rockets sank four free throws to clinch the victory.
Donatas Motiejunas led Houston with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while shooting 6-of-10 from the field including going a perfect 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Andre Dawkins and Isaiah Canaan added 12 points each, while Nick Johnson and Robert Covington chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Atlanta was led by second-year players Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, who had 16 points and seven rebounds each in the loss. 2014 first-round draft pick Adreian Payne narrowly missed achieving a double-double as he finished with 11 points and nine boards, while Rookie swingman Casey Prather (13) was also in double-figures.
The game opened up with two early ties, but Houston was in control at the end of the first quarter with a 23-15 lead.
Atlanta fought back in the second and managed to cut the eight-point deficit in half by halftime. They continued to fight in the third period and finally captured the lead when Schroder made a layup to put the Hawks up 45-44 with 7:50 left.
From that point forward, the lead changed sides seven times with there also being seven more tied scores before Houston took the lead for good.
With the victory, the Rockets advance to the Summer League semifinals where they will face the #23 seed Charlotte Hornets, who are currently the Cinderella team in the tournament with a hot three-game win streak going with upsets against the #10 Dallas Mavericks, #7 New Orleans Pelicans and #2 New York Knicks in succession.
As for the Hawks, their Summer League stint in Las Vegas is over.