Rookie Trae Young finished with his first triple-double but the Hawks fell to the Nets 114-112 in State Farm Arena on Saturday night.
Young had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. John Collins led the Hawks with 33 points and recorded a double-double with 20 rebounds.
“He’s definitely walking around in elite company now with the way he has been playing as of recently,” Collins said of Young. “He’s really good at being crafty, and I think that’s one of the things I noticed about him from the get-go is his ability to get to the line.”
With 30 seconds to play, the Hawks’ Taurean Prince missed a 3-point attempt and it resulted in a jump ball. The Nets gained possession and held the ball until Joe Harris was fouled with 16 seconds left on the clock. Harris missed his first free throw, but made the second to increase the Nets’ lead to 114-112 .
Vince Carter of the Hawks missed a 3-point attempt with two seconds left in the game.
“I thought, for the most part, our guys competed,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “We weren’t very good offensively tonight. For some reason, we can’t make threes against this team.”
The Hawks (22-45) had a shot to take the lead after Young made a free throw to pull his team within three. Collins hit a layup to make it a one-point game, 113-112, with a minute to play.
The Nets (35-33) regained the lead with 1:40 to play, and held on through the end. D’Angelo Russell hit a 3-pointer to pull his team ahead 111-109. Two made free throws from DeMarre Carroll increased the Nets’ lead to 113-109.
Young made two consecutive free throws to take the lead in the final five minutes, 100-99. The Hawks continued to build their small lead with a driving layup from Carter to lead by three, 102-99.
The Nets pulled within one with two made free throws from Spencer Dinwiddie, but the Hawks were not done. Young hit a 3-pointer to give them a 105-101 advantage. Collins made a dunk to keep their four-point lead in the final three minutes.
The free throw attempts drove the game. The Nets shot 54 and made 33. The Hawks had 32 attempts, hitting 26.
“Even though they missed 20, they still made 33 free throws,” Pierce said. “That keeps them on the scoreboard for most of the night. I just thought it was a sloppy game by both teams. They were able to find easy baskets, and free throws are easy points.”
The Hawks also struggled to hit their 3-point shots throughout the game, finishing the night shooting 19.5 percent from behind the arc and 37 percent from the field.
“We haven’t been able to shoot good against that team all year, credit to them,” Young said. “They made one more play than we did tonight. I like the way we fought, we were right there.”
The Nets have won the last five meetings between the teams, including both this season. The win sets a franchise record for the Nets for consecutive wins over the Hawks. It also sets a franchise record for consecutive road victories over the Hawks.