All the Hawks needed to beat the Dallas Mavericks for a second and final time this season on Saturday, was a career high 33 points from Dennis Schroder and a 11-19 from the field, 5-9 from three-point land 33 point fourth quarter. No problem. It’s simple math really: Schroder didn’t play on Friday night in Oklahoma City and the Hawks lost 120-117 on a Russell Westbrook game-winning three-pointer. Schroder played 36 minutes on Saturday and the team looked as good as they have all season.
Behind 80-79 to start the fourth quarter, the Hawks went to their go-to guy during the first quarter, Ersan Ilyasova, who connected on one of his two three-point makes (21 points, 7-9 FG) to go ahead by two points. Dallas went to their go-to guy for almost two decades, Dirk Nowitzki, who turned back the clock with a seven point fourth quarter and a 18-point game. Both stats were impressive but not as much as Schroder’s 15-point fourth quarter. From the three-pointer that brought the Hawks within two points at 90-88 early in the fourth quarter to the layup he would make on the following trip down the floor to tie the game at 90. Schroder was everywhere on Saturday night, even making time to give the jersey off his back to the Migos, who were sitting courtside along with Lil’ Yachty and Gucci Mane, following the win. The fourth-year pro could do no wrong on this night, making three of four from beyond the arc, dishing seven assists to only two turnovers and even picking up a steal and three rebounds for good measure.
Schroder’s 30th point came on a patented drive to the basket that gave Atlanta a 103-102 lead with 3:30 remaining in the game. Dallas guard JJ Barea (15 points, 12 assists) answered back with a double-clutch three-pointer that would tie the game at 105. Barea’s 10 points in the fourth quarter led the Mavericks who also got a huge game from leading scorer Harrison Barnes with 22 points (Barnes led the team with seven third quarter points). He would put a cap on his night with what would ultimately be the game-winning three-pointer with less than 30 seconds left. Already quite confident this season, Schroder took the shot over Barea near the top of the key like a player that knew tonight was just his night. And it was.
Rookie John Collins scored 13 points in 20 minutes of play, including three highlight dunks. Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince each contributed to the victory in their own way; Bazemore scored 11 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing six assists and Prince scored 10 points to go along with five rebounds. Both Malcolm Delaney and Tyler Cavanaugh scored seven points off the bench for the Hawks.
The victory had Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer in good spirits after the game. “It felt like 48 minutes of pretty good basketball, for us to find a way to win, a lot of guys stepped up and played well,” he said. “I’m pleased for our guys, happy for our guys it’s a nice thing going into the two days off and the holiday.”
The Hawks will be hosting the Washington Wizards on Wednesday before playing in Toronto on Friday.