Kevin Durant Pours in 31 as Nets Outlast Trae Young, HawksDecember 11, 2021
The Brooklyn Nets are now 2-0 against the Hawks this year after defeating Atlanta 113-105 on Friday night at State Farm Arena to move to 18-8 for the season, the best record in the Eastern Conference.
The win comes after a disappointing 114-104 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday without Kevin Durant. Regardless, Brooklyn has now won seven of its last 10 games and is on a roll.
Kevin Durant, PF, BKN: 31 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 3 BLK
Trae Young, PG, ATL: 31 PTS, 7 REB, 10 AST 2 STL
James Harden, SG, BKN: 20 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST
Kevin Huerter, SG, ATL: 19 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL
Kevin Durant Thrives in Big Minutes
Durant had a tremendous game on Friday night after missing Wednesday's contest against the Houston Rockets to get some extra rest.
The 33-year-old has been used heavily this season, entering Friday's game against the Hawks having played 36.2 minutes per night, the highest he's averaged since the 2013-14 season. He played 38 minutes against Atlanta but didn't appear to be fatigued.
Durant opened up the first quarter with 12 points, two rebounds, one assist and two blocks before adding five points and two assists in the second quarter. He shot 8-of-10 from the floor in the first half and made his only attempt from deep.
Durant continued his impressive evening in the third quarter, putting up six points, one rebound and three assists before closing out the game with eight points, two rebounds and a block in the fourth quarter.
Bruce Brown was impressive off the bench, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
While Durant played big minutes, he has no problem doing so, telling reporters last Saturday, "I'm a basketball player. I want to play 48 minutes. That's just what it is."
If he maintains that mentality moving forward, the Nets will be in good hands.
Trae Young's Effort Not Enough
Young is the most important part of the Atlanta offense. He continued to prove that on Friday night, and he started hot. The rising star finished the first quarter with six points, one rebound and four assists before adding eight points, two rebounds and three assists in the second frame.
Young continued his big night in the second half, adding 17 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Young's ability to make plays was on full display on Friday night as he finished with 10 assists. It was certainly a much better performance in comparison to the Hawks' first matchup of the season against the Nets on Nov. 3. The 23-year-old finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists in that game.
Friday's game was Young's fifth consecutive game with at least 25 points and 10-plus assists. He is the first player in Hawks history to accomplish the feat and the first in the NBA since Russell Westbrook did so in 2017, per Hawks Public Relations.
Trae Young last 5 games:<br><br>33 PTS, 10 AST<br>24 PTS, 10 AST<br>25 PTS, 15 AST<br>29 PTS, 11 AST<br>30 PTS, 10 AST<br><br>He joins Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan as the only players with 25p/10a in 5 straight games since the NBA merger (1977). <a href="https://t.co/wFrpN58vGE">pic.twitter.com/wFrpN58vGE</a>
Kevin Huerter also had an impressive game. Through the 6:51 mark of the third quarter, he had made four of his six three-point attempts and five of his nine field-goal attempts for 14 points.
It was a bounce-back performance from Huerter, who finished Monday's game against the Timberwolves with just 10 points. But while Young and Huerter were solid on Friday night, the Hawks needed much more production out of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who finished with zero points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 31 minutes.
The Hawks also finally got Cam Reddish back on Friday after a four-game absence with a wrist injury. While he played off the bench, finishing with four points and two assists, he should return to a more regular role in the future.
The Nets will be on the road to take on the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, while the Hawks will host the Houston Rockets on Monday.