Usually, when a team falls behind by 30 points, there isn’t much hope for a win.
Though they had lost eight of 11 games, the Hawks clinched a playoff berth with the victory and have now made the playoffs four consecutive seasons.
Still, without Deron Williams, the Nets lost their second straight game. Nets GM Billie King has announced that it is uncertain whether or not Williams will return this season.
This game appeared over in the opening minutes, as the Hawks used an early 19-0 run to establish a big lead. Atlanta opened a 28-point lead in the second quarter.
The Nets finished the first half with a season-low 31 points.
The Hawks extended the lead to 30 halfway through the third quarter. At that point, the Nets finally woke up and put together a solid effort to close the quarter.
New Jersey continued to chip away until they trailed by 10 after a 15-3 run with just over five minutes to play in the game.
However, Al Horford scored six straight points that crushed the Nets’ momentum and sealed Atlanta’s win. New Jersey’s effort proved too little too late.
Anthony Morrow led all scorers with 25 points in the losing cause.
The Hawks, meanwhile, had five players in double figures, including Horford, who recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Josh Smith scored 22 points, and Jamal Crawford added 18 off the bench.
The Nets return home to “the Rock” on Tuesday to take on the Houston Rockets.
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