That didn’t take long. A minor miracle would’ve had to occur for the Nets to pull off a victory in this one, and once it was clear that the skies weren’t opening to rain down frogs or gold, the Nets cruised to a clear schedule loss.
There’s nothing profound to glean from this game — the Nets, an average Eastern Conference team, were on their fourth game in five nights, traveling from Brooklyn after a game the night before, and the well-rested Hawks put on a clinic befitting the Eastern Conference’s best team, creating open three-pointers and shots at the rim with ease. Al Horford had 16 points, three assists, and two steals in the first half alone, and the rest of the Hawks combined to shoot 7-for-12 from three-point range by the midway break. They followed up a 66-point first half with a 42-point third quarter. There was no denying a team hell-bent on this victory.
At one point in the first half, the Hawks made 16 of 17 shots, and 19 of 21. Midway through the second quarter, this one was over. The rest of it was window dressing. Shake it off and get ready for Monday.
The stats: 11 PTS, 5-8 FG, 6 REB, 1 AST
Dropped in a few early buckets but was no match for Al Horford, who fits perfectly in Mike Budenholzer’s offensive philosophy and punctuated the first half with an emphatic alley-oop over Lopez and a big one-handed slam dunk through two defenders (including Lopez) on the next possession.