In a game which the Atlanta Hawks never trailed, the Brooklyn Nets were given ample opportunities to win their third straight game. However, Atlanta’s starters weathered the multiple Brooklyn runs and managed to win Wednesday’s Game 5 107-97, giving the Hawks the chance to close out the series in Brooklyn in a few days.
Another day, another team win
Just like numerous times this season, Atlanta’s starters carried the scoring load as they were responsible for 91 of the team’s points. All five starters scored double figures with DeMarre Carroll lead all players with 24 points. The Junkyard Dog also added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals to his stat line in more than 42 minutes on the court. Paul Millsap continued to struggle as he scored just 10 points in 42 minutes, going just 4-11 from the field including 1-4 from both the three-point line and the free throw line.
Fortunately the rest of the Hawks starters picked up the slack. Both Al Horford and Jeff Teague finished with 20 points apiece. Horford had the only double-double of the night as he finished with 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots in his 35 minutes of playing time. Teague added eight assists, three rebounds and three steals. Kyle Korver added 17 points, going 5-12 from beyond the arc.
While it won’t get nearly as much coverage as it should, Atlanta did a great job this game of limiting Brooklyn’s free throw opportunities. Atlanta committed just 11 total fouls in the game, 10 fewer than Brooklyn. This limited the Nets free throw chances and while Brooklyn shot an impressive 87 percent from the charity stripe, they were limited to just 15 total free throw attempts. Horford was the only Hawk in any kind of foul trouble as he finished with four fouls but otherwise no other Hawk even got three total fouls. A very clean game.
For Brooklyn, it was their bench that kept them in the game. Alan Anderson scored 23 points as he was nearly perfect going 9-11 from the field (Anderson rebounded one of his own missed for an easy put-back) including a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc while Jarrett Jack added 18 points of his own, going 7-13 from the field.
Atlanta started off the game strong, ending the first quarter up 33-16. Then in the second quarter Brooklyn managed to cut the lead to just seven points with a minute to go in the first half. Atlanta was able to build up another 14-point lead in the third only to see Brooklyn fight back. The Nets started off the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run and were able to cut Atlanta’s lead to just a single point with four minutes and change remaining in the game.
Game 6 of this series heads back to Brooklyn on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p,m. ET. If Brooklyn wins, Game 7 will return to Philips Arena Sunday May 3. The winner of this series faces the Washington Wizards who have already swept the Toronto Raptors in their first round match-up.