On the second game of a back-to-back, the Atlanta Hawks took on the Brooklyn Nets at State Farm Arena and gave megastars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all they could handle but it was not enough. With 1300 socially distant fans in attendance, it was a playoff atmosphere tonight. However, the Nets would come away with a 132-128 victory.

The game featured fifteen ties and twenty-one lead changes. Atlanta’s largest lead was seven points. However, as the game went down the stretch, Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash slid Durant at the stretch five and provided shot-blocking plus rim protection. He also led all scorers with 32 points in 42 minutes. Harden had 31 points plus fifteen assists. Kyrie had 26 points.

Trae Young had 28 points, fourteen assists and three rebounds. Cam Reddish had 24 points off the bench. De’Andre Hunter and John Collins each had 21 points. Clint Capela only had nine points, but the Hawks were 19 points better when he was on the court, as his rebounding and presence at the rim were key, even though he was battling through an injury to his right hand.

The Nets took the lead 116-114 in the fourth quarter when Harden drove the lane and kicked the ball back to the trailer Jeff Green for an easy layup with 56.3 seconds remaining. The Hawks tied it on a drive-by Reddish with 28.6 seconds left. Harden missed a deep 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left that could have won the game in regulation.

In overtime, Durant’s dunk gave the Nets a 127-121. After Young made one of two free throws to trim Brooklyn’s lead to 129-126, Durant’s turnover with 40 seconds remaining gave Atlanta an opening. Hunter missed a long jumper that would have tied the game.

Brooklyn improves to 12-8 and they are 5th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Atlanta is 9-9 and is 6th in the East. The Hawks lead the Southeast Division by two clear games over the Orlando Magic.

Atlanta will travel to Washington Friday night with a 7:00 PM tip-off. Hawks’ next home game will be against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night at 7:30 PM.

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots next to Atlanta Hawks’ Solomon Hill during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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