Atlanta Hawks: Rapid Reactions to 136-114 Loss in Cleveland

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Rapid Reactions to a 136-114 blowout for the Atlanta Hawks at the hands of the formerly winless Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Atlanta Hawks played their first rematch and first back-to-back of the season Tuesday night, as they faced off with the Cavs for the second time in the young season.

The Cavs’ start to the season couldn’t have gone worse, as they lost their star player, Kevin Love, to injury, fired head coach Ty Lue and came into tonight’s game with a record of 0-6, already losing to the Atlanta Hawks 9 days ago.

The Hawks began the game like they were looking to gift Cleveland their first win, falling behind to another double-digit first quarter deficit.

Rodney Hood came out firing for interim coach Larry Drew’s (remember him?) squad and Atlanta slowly crawled back all quarter thanks to a couple nice threes from the ageless Vince Carter and rookie Omari Spellman.

As they have all year, the Atlanta Hawks struggled with turnovers in the first period, and this time they further helped the Cavs with 6 fouls. They finished the fourth behind by 4 and continued their slow and steady comeback in the 2nd, when Trae hit a deep 3 to take they lead.

Both teams played at a fast rate to start the game, and they were tied at 41 apiece just three minutes into the 2nd.

Kent Bazemore and Alex Len had good quarters, but the defense still struggled to get stops, and the team found themselves down one entering the half.

Things didn’t improve much after the half, as the Hawks struggled with turnovers and defense, and the Cavs got out to a 16-3 run.

Trae Young was favoring his left ankle after a tumble off a hard foul, and Taurean Prince landed awkwardly, tweaking his knee. Both returned to play both but didn’t seem 100% for a while. Even with the injury Trae seemed to be the only spark of offense the Hawks had in the third, before Lin checked in around the 4-minute mark, Young had 11 of Atlanta’s third quarter points.

Just like he did last Sunday, he was torching Collin Sexton and the rest of the Cleveland backcourt, getting open 3s as well as open looks at the basket, including on the Atlanta Hawks very first bucket of the game:

While Trae Young was able to bounce back from his ache, Prince was not. While he wasn’t setting the world on fire prior to the fall, he played by far his worst game of the year post-tweak.

He remained in the game, but promptly was involved in two (of many in the 3rd) turnovers, and struggled with poor shot selection. He also wore at least three different pairs of shoes throughout the night. He also fouled out. Just a weird performance from the usually rock-solid Prince.

Ultimately the Hawks never recovered from the Cavs’ blazing start to the third. Cleveland was just too hot from three, making over 50% of their 25 attempts.

Outside of their dominant long-range shooting tonight, the Cavaliers dominated the free throw battle, attempting 43 compared to the Hawks 17.

The Atlanta Hawks have now dropped their third straight game coming after starting the season 2-2.

Box Score Notes:

  • Alex Len had his best game in an Atlanta Hawks uniform, putting up 22 points, making all 9 of his field goal attempts. He grabbed 9 boards as well. Him and Dedmon have been alternating good performances, it’ll be interesting to see if they ever put it together at the same time.
  • Kent Bazemore continues his up-and-down season, hitting another bump tonight. He finished with 7 points, 5 fouls and 5 turnovers.
  • Kevin Huerter made the most of his limited minutes tonight, making 3-4 from deep and finishing with a career-high 13 points in 15 mintues. He was the only Hawk who played at least 10 minutes to not record a foul.
  • Jeremy Lin continues to struggle shooting, but still had a good night running the second team, and had his best night of the young season with 12 points and a team-high 8 assists.

That’s it for this one. The Cavs were determined to get their first win and the Atlanta Hawks simply didn’t have the firepower to stop them defensively.

dark. Next. Trae Young Lived Up To Hype on Only National TV Game

They look to get back in the win column Thursday, when the surprisingly good Kings come to Atlanta with a 5-3 record.