Atlanta Hawks youngster takes playful jab at close rival

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks (21-22) got a big 114-103 win on the road against the Toronto Raptors making them three wins in their last four tries. It also gives them the regular-season series at two games to one for Toronto and snaps a three-game losing streak at Scotiabank Arena. More importantly, it gave one Hawks player unique bragging rights.

Rookie AJ Griffin’s father Adrian Griffin is an assistant for Toronto and a former player himself spending time with five teams across 10 seasons in the NBA.

He certainly knows something about the thrill of competition.

So the elder Griffin has to appreciate a little playful ribbing from his son who is 2-1 against his father as a pro. The younger Griffin had a little message for his father in the aftermath of the big win and the final time he will face his father in the regular season this year.

AJ Griffin takes jab at Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin after Atlanta Hawks win

“We’ve been talking about it all week,” Griffin told Bally Sports Hawks reporter Lauren Jbara after notching 13 points and four rebounds while going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. “It’s pretty cool just to get that win…He’s proud of me, though. Just to be able to share those moments together, that’s pretty cool.”

He didn’t keep it totally buttoned up, however, taking a playful jab at his dad with an assist from none other than his point guard, Trae Young.

“Sorry pops still love ya,” the younger Griffin wrote in an Instagram post followed by a crying emoji. Young found his way into the comments replying “how it’s gotta be” to which Griffin replied, “facts”.

Griffin has averaged 10.7 points on 64% true shooting with 3.7 rebounds against the Raptors this season.

He is averaging 9.8 points on 58% true shooting with 2.2 boards and 1.1 assists this season.

There was a particularly strong stretch of games for Griffin in which he averaged 13.4 points on 58.2% true shooting in a 17-game span from November 19 to December 21. This was his first double-digit scoring outing in the last seven games.

Griffin spoke about just what these last two wins could mean for the Hawks going forward as they try to navigate rocky waters internally.

“I think it was a huge two wins on the road. Just to be able to execute on the road and just coming back home on a good note which is getting those two wins. Because it’s definitely always good to win on the road.”

The Hawks are 10-13 on the road after the win.

They are 11-9 at home which bodes well with more games at State Farm Arena the rest of the way than away from the friendly confines.

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Next up is a home date with the Miami Heat who have won three straight games and took the first meeting 106-98 after knocking the Hawks out of the postseason last year in five games.