ASHEVILLE, N.C. - It was a tough shooting night for Dennis Schroder - until it really mattered.
The Hawks rookie point guard hit a layup with 2.1 seconds remaining to give the Hawks an 87-85 victory over the Bobcats in Tuesday night’s exhibition game at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Schroder finished 4-of-15 from the field as the Hawks squandered a 13-point second-half lead. With the game tied and 16 seconds remaining, Schroder broke down the Bobcats defense and put up a floater that hit much of the rim before finally it dropped.
“During the game I didn’t make tough shots,” Schroder said. “I just tried to get the last shot. I was confident about it.”
Mike Scott scored eight fourth-quarter points, including two 3-pointers, as part of his game-high 19 points. Scott, the second-year forward, was also the Hawks’ leading scorer with 13 points against the Heat Monday.
“I felt like I was being too passive,” Scott said. “My teammates told me to shoot the ball. I was being too unselfish. Once I came in, I started to let the game come to me and start taking the shots I normally pass up.”
The Hawks improved to 1-1 after the road trip to start the exhibition season.
The Hawks led by as many as 13 points in the first and second halves before the Bobcats made a late run against mostly bench players. The Bobcats tied the game 72-72 with two 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter. The back-and-fourth final quarter was tied again when Ramon Sessions hit three free throws, the last with 43.3 seconds remaining for an 85-85 tie.
Then Schroder delivered.
Coach Mike Budenholzer was pleased with the performance, especially in the first quarter when the Hawks shot 57.1 percent (12 of 21) from the field.
“For a lot of stretches they played really well,” Budenholzer said. “We talked about a few stretches where they need to improve and get better. That will give us more separation. A lot of good stretches throughout the game, offensively and defensively.
“It was great for Dennis. He kept coming and coming and for him to have that opportunity to make that basket, it just shows you the kind of confidence and belief he has in himself.”
The Hawks also got 14 points from Kyle Korver, including three 3-pointers. DeMarre Carroll added 12 points. Veteran Elton Brand made is presence known as he started at center for Al Horford. He finished four points but had eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
“We had some lapses and we could have really broken it open,” Brand said. “To their credit they kept playing hard and really pushed us. But we need that. It’s preseason but it’s good repetition for the young guys being in that situation.”
The Hawks got points from 11 of the 12 players that saw action. Schroder finished with nine points and Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap had eight each.
Sessions led the Bobcats with 17 points.
Al Horford did not play in the game, along with Shelvin Mack, Adonis Thomas, Jared Cunningham and Antic. Budenholzer said there is no injury with Horford just wanted to rest the center on the second of back-to-back game. Brand started in his place.
The Hawks will not practice Wednesday. They next play the Pelicans in Biloxi, Miss. Sunday.