Make it five straight victories for the Atlanta Hawks. After the worst west coast road trip imaginable (including a 6-game losing streak), the Hawks are back up to .500 on the season.
Tonight's outcome was no surprise. The Thunder have the worst offense (98.6 points per game) in the league. To make matters worse, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) didn't play. However, they scored 60 points in the first half. The Thunder were able to push the pace and get easy looks at the rim.
The Hawks cut off access to the paint in the third quarter, where the Thunder scored just 11 points. Unfortunately for Thunder fans, this team just isn't winning games with jump shots. They went 39-97 from the field (40.2%) and a cringe-inducing 10-38 (26.3%) from three.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said the team didn't make any defense adjustments. "I thought our guys just really locked in and started playing defense. We started getting pressure on the basketball. We did a better job of keeping the ball in front of us and not allowing them to break us down. We were able to establish our defense in the third quarter."
A significant reason for the Hawks defensive firewall was John Collins. 'John the Baptist' swatted 5 shots and made titled the game's balance thanks to his dominance in the lane.
On the other half of the court, the Hawks offense was purely unstoppable. Six players scored in double digits. The team shot 42-87 (48.3%) from the field and 14-34 (41.2%) from deep.
Trae Young grew up attending Thunder games in Chesapeake Energy Arena (now known as Paycom Center). So the significance of playing his 'hometown' team was not lost on him as he dropped 28 points with his parents sitting courtside.
Following tonight's game, the Hawks travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs Wednesday night. As always, we will keep you updated with breaking news and analysis for your Atlanta Hawks.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 28 PTS, 6 AST
Kevin Huerter - 15 PTS, 5 REB
Bogdan Bogdanovic - PTS, 5 REB
Thunder Stats Leaders
Josh Giddey - 15 PTS, 8 AST
Lu Dort - 15 PTS, 5 REB
Ty Jerome - 15 PTS, 4 REB