The Atlanta Hawks had five players score in double figures, boasting a balanced offensive attack in winning Game 2 over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The 96-91 win gave the Hawks a 2-0 advantage in the series.
The Hawks have now won seven straight games vs the Nets. They are 6-0 this season, including the playoffs.
That’s what they do
The Hawks, led by their league-high four NBA All-Stars and newly crowned NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer, have played a strong brand of team basketball all season, and entered the postseason with the No. 1 seed in the East and a franchise-best 60-22 record.
The Hawks assisted on 77 percent of their field goals Wednesday, a statistic they led the NBA in this season. They had four players record at least five assists, which is the fourth time they’ve done that this season. All 12 of their three-point shots made were assisted, with DeMarre Carroll accounting for four of those (of his five assists).
Al Horford’s team-high seven assists led to 18 points by his teammates. He posted a solid 14 points and 13 rebounds to go along with his assists. Paul Millsap had 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a postseason career-high four 3-pointers, bouncing back after a 2-of-11 shooting performance in Game 1.
Can the Hawks make history?
Wednesday’s win marked the fifth time in franchise history the Hawks have gone up 2-0 in a best-of-7 series. Each of the previous four times they went on to win the series.
However, in the 39 playoff best-of-7 series' the Hawks have played in, they have never swept a series. The team with the second-longest streak of series played without winning in a sweep is the Wizards with 28.
Bad news in Brooklyn?
With the loss the Nets fell to 0-9 all time in playoff games as a No. 8 seed. The team currently leads the NBA in most games as a No. 8 seed without a win, as they were swept in their previous two appearances in the playoffs as a No. 8 seed (1998 and 2005).
Jarrett Jack put forth a strong scoring effort with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 16 in the first half. But Nets point guard Deron Williams struggled with two points on 1-of-7 shooting, which is only the third time in his postseason career he’s had two or fewer points.
BPI gives the Hawks a 93 percent chance to win the series.