Kevin Durant Pours in 31 as Nets Outlast Trae Young, Hawks

Erin WalshDecember 11, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 10: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets high fives LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 10, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

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. 

Notable Stats

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.

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

Kev didn't want that 😀 <a href="https://t.co/EqEpyaAOWo">pic.twitter.com/EqEpyaAOWo</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

Patty with the block, Kevin with the SLAM <a href="https://t.co/lhE1iypqeW">pic.twitter.com/lhE1iypqeW</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

Kevin...HOW? <a href="https://t.co/0bRqJVDke3">pic.twitter.com/0bRqJVDke3</a>

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

KD ... πŸ‘ <a href="https://t.co/y2ltZEFyGl">https://t.co/y2ltZEFyGl</a> <a href="https://t.co/5OFqu6bkgq">pic.twitter.com/5OFqu6bkgq</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

12 points in 12 minutes for KD πŸ‘ <a href="https://t.co/Pr6zrBpT0n">pic.twitter.com/Pr6zrBpT0n</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

YOU KNOW HIM <a href="https://t.co/NgGZMhqifi">pic.twitter.com/NgGZMhqifi</a>

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. 

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

LA block 🚫<br>KD slam πŸ”¨ <a href="https://t.co/Jhtrukb5pe">pic.twitter.com/Jhtrukb5pe</a>

Bruce Brown was impressive off the bench, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal. 

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

BRUC3! <a href="https://t.co/4tFmlCxCn9">pic.twitter.com/4tFmlCxCn9</a>

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.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Perfect delivery πŸ’₯ <a href="https://t.co/Y3jch1JYGE">pic.twitter.com/Y3jch1JYGE</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

That cross is lethal πŸ₯Ά <a href="https://t.co/CJ6EeTbgWn">pic.twitter.com/CJ6EeTbgWn</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Boom time 😀 <a href="https://t.co/wMjKb6s4WM">pic.twitter.com/wMjKb6s4WM</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Trae leads the way with 14 PTS &amp; 7 AST at the half ❄️<br><br>Presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/Verizon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Verizon</a> <a href="https://t.co/vq4leZcZz5">pic.twitter.com/vq4leZcZz5</a>

Young continued his big night in the second half, adding 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. 

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Look at the flick of the wrist ❄️ <a href="https://t.co/VnKRTWKg55">pic.twitter.com/VnKRTWKg55</a>

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

StatMuse @statmuse

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.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Kev gettin' things started! <a href="https://t.co/87ajcgcSiD">pic.twitter.com/87ajcgcSiD</a>

Bally Sports: Hawks @HawksOnBally

Ending the half with a splash.<a href="https://twitter.com/KevinHuerter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KevinHuerter</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/ATLHawks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATLHawks</a> <a href="https://t.co/D4fp3YNDm5">pic.twitter.com/D4fp3YNDm5</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Red Velvet πŸ’¦ <a href="https://t.co/gQcloVijEx">pic.twitter.com/gQcloVijEx</a>

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.

What's Next?

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.