Home not so sweet home for Hawks in 110-105 loss to Nets

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Hawks vs. Nets, Fri. Jan. 12 at Philips Arena. Photo by Itoro Umontuen

The Atlanta Hawks returned home from a six-game west coast road trip where they went 1-5 (a victory over the Denver Nuggets on the final night of the trip on Wednesday kept them from going winless) and promptly lost the first of five consecutive upcoming homes game to the Brooklyn Nets 110-105.

Behind by three points with 11 seconds remaining in the game, Hawks guard Dennis Schroder went to the basket for layup that not only missed but also gave the ball directly to Brooklyn via a traveling call. The end of the game play was reminiscent of what happened in Phoenix on Jan. 2 when down by three points, Schroder decided to take tough two-pointer that ended that game 104-103. Friday night’s decision did not belong solely to the Hawks leading scorer however.

“We thought we had enough time to go for two and foul again,” said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer during his postgame presser. “That’s a tough loss. Just a frustrating loss with our defense in the final minutes.”

The Hawks offense wasn’t necessarily great either as they didn’t grab their first lead of the game until rookie reserve guard Tyler Dorsey connected from three-point range with three minutes remaining in the third quarter to give Atlanta a 67-66 advantage. Prior to that the closest the Hawks got to Brooklyn was having tied scores after the end of the first quarter quarter (25) and third quarter (74). Then came the fourth quarter.

The teams remained tied early in the quarter before Kent Bazemore connected from three followed by consecutive baskets from Dennis Schroder that gave Atlanta a 92-90 lead with 4:40 remaining in the game. Schroder’s 28th, 29th and 30th points came on a three-point play with three minutes remaining to put the Hawks ahead 96-94. Schroder would score his 32nd and 34th on consecutive fifteen-footers. Schroder would fail to score again but Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie would find a few more opportunities as time wound down. Dinwiddie, who led Brooklyn with 20 points to go along with 10 assists (to just three turnovers, two coming during second half), put the Nets up by a point, 108-105, following a free throw.

The Nets outscored the Hawks 36-31 during the fourth quarter. Jahlil Okafor scored 17 points off  the bench for the Nets as one of their six players in double-figures. Atlanta got 16 points from Kent Bazemore (10 points during second half) and 11 points and nine rebounds from Dewayne Dedmon who played 22 minutes before fouling out. Dedmon’s absence at the end of the game made it easier for the Nets to get a second chance after Dinwiddie missed a free throw with the clock running down.

Atlanta will host their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day game, this year against the San Antonio Spurs, on Monday at 3 p.m. followed by home dates against the New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors over the next 12 days.

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