Hitting a quick recap before handing out grades to the Atlanta Hawks for their win over the Pacers on Saturday.
It was the 2nd night of a back-to-back for the Atlanta Hawks, and just like the game prior, they got off to a blistering start against a top tier Eastern Conference team.
On Friday they leapt out to a 18-point 1st quarter lead in Boston, and tonight they grew a 22-point 1st quarter lead on the Pacers.
They found success with a small ball starting lineup last night, with JC starting at center. However, with JC unavailable with a back injury, Lloyd Pierce actually turned to a big lineup.
It was Young, who played like the All-Star he’s in line to be in the first as they grew their lead. He scored 30 of the Hawks’ 64 first half points, making his first 9 shots.
He must know that All-Star voting is heating up, as he seemed determined to add to his highlight reel tonight.
The Pacers out-scored the Hawks 34-21 in the 2nd period, to get back into it, and Atlanta’s once 22-point lead was cut to just 4 at the half.
Just like the Celtics game a night before, the opponent took the lead in the early third quarter.
From then, it was a dog fight, with neither team able to pull away.
The Pacers took over with 20 seconds left, trailing by three. They ran an odd, borderline dysfunctional play that ended with Vince Carter fouling T.J Warren, who made 1 of 2, making the one he was likely trying to miss.
Up two with four seconds left, Trae went to the line, missing the first of two, but went right back after forcing a turnover on the ensuing possession. He knocked them both down, securing the 116-111 victory.
It’s hard to call any win an ugly one for the now 8-28 Atlanta Hawks, but blowing a 22-point lead isn’t helping their case in that regard. It was their first win in Atlanta in over a month (December 2nd, Golden State) however, which has to feel good for both the players and fans.
Next up, we’ll be handing out some player grades to everyone who checked in.