After seeing the Hawks lose to the Rockets by 47 points, 158-111 in Houston the question was could Atlanta stay close when they hosted them at State Farm Arena Mon night. For the last 3 quarters the young Hawks played one of their best defensive games of the year.
They held the Rockets to 77 points, and prolific scorer James Harden to 19 on 3 of 25 shooting. However that couldn’t overcome the 45 points they gave up in the 1st quarter as they lose a close one 122-115. The Rockets caught fire after about 4 minutes led by Harden’s five 3 pointers and 22 points. That was the most ever scored by him in a quarter. Atlanta shut him and Houston down after that but the hole they dug was to deep for them to get out of. For the night James Harden finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. His 15th 40 point triple double leaves him just 7 shy of Oscar Robertson’s career record of 22 according to Elias/NBA.com
But he wasn’t the only with firepower on the court. The Hawks rising star Trae Young showed why he is leading fan All Star voting for East guards as he matched Harden’s 40 point triple double with one of his own. Young had 42 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.The combo became the first opposing duo to 40 point triple double in the same game. Atlanta big men John Collins and Alex Lin had double doubles for Atlanta. Collins had 4 blocks as well
In spite of those numbers by their big men, Atlanta still needs improvement in their play under the basket. Rockets forward P.J. Tucker and center Clint Capela had 17 and 22 rebounds respectively. In the the pivotal 1st quarter, and other critical points during the game Houston players were able to drive with little resistance for easy baskets.
In the end it came down to Houston having too much talent, even with their other star guard Russell Westbrook on the bench because of load management.
Atlanta have the Washington Wizards and All Star guard Bradley Beal up next at home Friday.