AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Kevin Durant scored 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 117-108 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday in Barclays Center.
KD led six Nets with double-digit scoring figures on a night where the Nets made 22 of 48 three-pointers. Joe Harris got all 18 of his points from behind the three-point line, and James Harden knocked down five en route to his 16-point, 11-assist evening.
The hot shooting helped Brooklyn outscore Atlanta 34-20 in the third quarter. The Nets led by double digits for the entire fourth quarter until a pair of Trae Young free throws in the final minute.
De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks with 26 points, making all six of his three-pointers along the way. Clint Capela added a 13-point, 16-rebound double-double.
Young struggled, shooting just 6-of-22 for 21 points. He ended up with a near triple-double after amassing 10 assists and nine rebounds as well.
The 5-3 Nets have won three straight. The 4-4 Hawks have lost three of their last four games.
Hawks SF De’Andre Hunter: 26 points
Hawks PG Trae Young: 21 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds
Hawks C Clint Capela: 13 points, 16 rebounds
Nets F Kevin Durant: 32 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Nets G/F Joe Harris: 18 points, 6 rebounds
Nets PG James Harden: 16 points, 11 assists
Nets’ 3-Point Barrage, 3rd-Quarter Surge Too Much for Hawks
Seven different Nets hit three-pointers Wednesday, with six players knocking down two or more.
Brooklyn outscored Atlanta by 27 points from beyond the three-point line as the Hawks (13-of-35 from deep) could not match the Nets’ firepower.
That was the difference in the Nets’ victory on a night where Harden’s scoring output wasn’t at his usual norm.
Harden didn’t score until near the end of the second quarter, when he knocked down a step-back three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining until halftime. He ended up shooting just 5-of-14 on the night.
However, he helped facilitate an excellent offensive output from the entire team, which overwhelmed the Hawks and led by as many as 17 points.
The difference in this one was the Nets’ final stretch of the third quarter.
Hunter tied the game at 75 after a three-pointer with 4: 55 left in the frame. The Hawks were in this one thanks largely to his efforts, but the defense needed to step up.
It did not, and the Nets responded with a 20-4 run to take a 95-79 lead into the fourth.
Durant got the team going with a personal 7-0 run on two free throws, a two-pointer and a three.
Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets
7️⃣-0 Run for 7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/LAtCUG1VSo
John Collins sandwiched pair of buckets around another KD free throw, but the Nets closed out the quarter with 12 straight points in a 1: 36.
KD hit this bucket to cap the scorching-hot stretch:
Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets
🚨 KEVIN DURANT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/mLPTEAYayI
The Nets never gave away control of the game from there as they cruised to victory.
Hawks Offense Can’t Get Going Outside Hunter
Atlanta has gotten off to a slow start after making the Eastern Conference Finals the year before, but there isn’t much cause for concern considering the season isn’t even a month old yet.
There have been some silver linings along the way to the Hawks’ 4-4 start, though, and Hunter’s play Wednesday has been one of them.
Hunter was held to just 23 games last year as he worked his way back from a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. The ailment kept the talented former Virginia forward and draft lottery pick off the court, but the Hawks managed to make it two wins away from the NBA Finals without him.
With Hunter, the Hawks have a player who can be a menace on both ends. That was the case Wednesday as he carried the Atlanta offense en route to shooting 10-of-11 from the field and adding a steal and block on the other end.
He also threw down this nasty third-quarter dunk:
Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks
TALK TO ‘EM DRE! pic.twitter.com/hsfMGP9n0W
It was an encouraging result from Hunter, whom the Hawks will need if they’re going to get over the Eastern Conference hump and make another deep playoff run.
However, the rest of the Hawks largely struggled as Hunter enjoyed the best game of his season. Young simply couldn’t find his shot, going just 4-of-16 inside the three-point arc. It was a quiet night for Collins (13 points, 5-of-14 shooting) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (eight points, 3-of-10 shooting) as well.
Kevin Huerter lit it up off the bench with his 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes, but the rest of the bench combined for just 11 points on 5-of-20 from the field.
Overall, the Hawks needed a much better shooting night to counteract the Nets’ hot shooting from all over the court, and they didn’t get it. The sky certainly isn’t falling in Atlanta, however, as the team will look to rebound when it returns home.
Atlanta will host the Utah Jazz on Thursday at 7: 30 p.m. ET at State Farm Arena. Brooklyn will visit the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.