Cam Reddish scores career-best 26 as Hawks beat Nets

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives to the basket between Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) and Spencer Dinwiddie in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Tami Chappell)

Credit: Tami Chappell

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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives to the basket between Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) and Spencer Dinwiddie in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Tami Chappell)

Credit: Tami Chappell

Credit: Tami Chappell

The Hawks (18-43) combined a balanced offense and a complete second half to cruise past the Nets 141-118 Friday at State Farm Arena.

Below are some takeaways from the game:

1. The Hawks executed on offense throughout the night, scoring their second-highest total this season. It was a balanced effort as all five starters scored 15 or more points in the win and the bench combined for 27 points. The Hawks dominated in the second half, outscoring the Nets 73-56 in the over the last two quarters. The defense also chipped in late, stifling Brooklyn’s offense in the fourth, allowing just 20 points. The game marked the Hawks’ first win against the Nets (26-32) since Dec. 2 of 2017, snapping an eight-game losing streak.

“Good team win. I don’t get to say that often, but it really just felt, close to the Miami game, it felt like everyone contributed at a very high level, from start to finish,” Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce said. “Bruno’s (Fernando) energy was great, Cam (Reddish), obviously, in that third quarter was tremendous. ... I think no matter what (our guys) are trending in the right direction. Tonight, was a real example of all of our guys trending in the right direction. To put together that type of win was really encouraging to see.”

2. Reddish led the way in an explosive third quarter that saw the Hawks score 40 points. The rookie wing ended with a career-high 26 points, breaking his record of 25, also set against the Nets on Dec. 4. In the third, the Hawks broke off a 12-2 run over a two-minute stretch that ended with a Reddish 3 off a Trae Young assist, extending the lead to 14 points with 8:04 left in the period. Reddish shot the lights out in the quarter, scoring 17 points and not missing any of his six field-goal attempts. He ended the game shooting 9-for-14 from the field and 6-for-9 from beyond the arc.

“He had (confidence) tonight and when he has that confidence you can just see the talent oozing out of him,” teammate John Collins said. “Hopefully he keeps that confidence and keeps playing that way because the game really opens up when you have a guy like him who can slide, cut, shoot and playmake.”

3. Collins continued his impressive February on Friday, scoring 33 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Hawks forward got the team rolling in the first quarter, dropping in 12 of the team’s first 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Collins remains on a tear, developing into a threat not only in the paint but from beyond the arc as well. In the month of February, Collins remains one of just three players in the league to average over 20 points and shoot better than 45% from three.

“If (defenses) are going to play down the floor, (John’s) going to have to take (3-pointers),” Pierce said. “He hit the first one and everything seems like it’s wide open from there. That was really what got him going, was the ability to knock in two 3’s early, because of their defensive coverage.”

4. Coming into the game against a Nets team that features talented centers like Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan, Pierce emphasized the importance of winning the rebound battle. The Hawks responded by outworking Brooklyn on the glass 52-38, including a 15-7 advantage in offensive rebounds. Particularly, Pierce pointed to the effort of the team’s wings, led by De’Andre Hunter, who snagged 10 boards in the game.

“When our wings rebound, we don’t have to find Trae and we can just break out (in transition),” Pierce said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s Kevin (Huerter), he can initiate the break, De’Andre can initiate the break, Cam can initiate the break, it just makes us faster. Tonight, we see it, De’Andre Hunter gets a double-double. That’s big for us moving forward when all of our guys are continuing to rebound the basketball.”

5. By his own standards, Young had a quiet night. The All-Star point guard scored 22 points and had 14 assists, including seven in the first quarter. Despite shooting 6-for-18 from the field, Young notched his 25th double-double of the season.

“For me to have 14 assists, I tell everybody all the time that’s my favorite stat,” Young said. “For me to get that and see everybody do well and get the win, that’s the best part.”

By the numbers 

18.8 (Cam Reddish’s points-per-game average in four games against the Nets this season)

Quotable 

“You saw probably one of Trae’s best on-ball defensive games that he’s had.” (Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce on Trae Young’s defense)