The Atlanta Hawks drew first blood in their first round NBA playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets with a 99-92 win in Game 1 at the Philips Arena on Sunday night.
Kyle Korver led the scoring for the hosts with 21 points as he went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc and hit a dagger three in the last few minutes of the game to extend the lead which their opponents were unable to overcome.
However, as ever it was a team effort from Atlanta as several players finished in double scoring figures, with DeMarre Carroll (17 points), Al Horford (10 points), Jeff Teague (17 points) and Dennis Schroder (13 points) all contributing to ensure that they held off the Nets.
Brooklyn threatened on numerous occasions to make this game competitive despite the Hawks showing signs of being able to build a sizeable lead and keep them at bay.
Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez both scored 17 points apiece in the losing cause, with the former being booed by his former fans after leaving the Hawks for the Nets three years ago in free agency.
Nevertheless, it was bigger than that for the Hawks who are looking to show that they earned the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference by taking that form into the playoffs and making a deep run.
It appears as though they will have the chance to dominate the Nets in this series, as despite the odd comeback, Atlanta were able to expose the weaknesses of their rivals on the defensive end with some impressive ball movement and ability to hit from the three-point line.
Whether or not they can maintain that level of consistency remains to be seen as the likes of Deron Williams and Lopez will come again in Game 2, but coach Mike Budenholzer will be confident of his team’s chance of progressing and they appear to match-up well against Brooklyn which spells trouble for Lionel Hollins’ men.