On Monday, the Atlanta Hawks lost a tight contest to the Denver Nuggets. The Hawks return to action tonight when the Houston Rockets come to Atlanta for the second matchup of the season for these two teams.
Following a ten-game losing streak, the Atlanta Hawks started to play better basketball by winning two of the last three games, including wins over Orlando and Indiana. On Monday, the Hawks welcomed the Denver Nuggets, the two seed in the West, to Atlanta. In the only other meeting earlier in the season, the Hawks shocked the Nuggets by winning their first meeting in Denver before the Hawks went on their first long losing streak.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Nuggets tight for most of the game, but would eventually fall short after a heroic performance from Nikola Jokic, who scored 47 points on the Hawks lackluster defense. The loss won’t be remembered as anything special by next week, but the fact the Hawks played the Nuggets, a contender for the NBA title, is a positive sign for a young Hawks team that has been looking for any encouraging signs amid a massively disappointing season.
While the Hawks look like they would struggle to slow down a high school team from scoring, the offense continues to be the one area of promise. Trae Young had one of his best games as a pro on Monday against the Nuggets. Trae scored 29 points while shooting 8-12 from the field, 4-5 on three-point attempts, and 9-9 on free throw attempts. Also, Trae added 12 assists to the stat sheet to cap off his stellar night. Kevin Huerter continued to play his best basketball of the season, dropping 22 points. John Collins, who returned from missing a couple of games, had 17 points.
The Hawks will have little time to focus on their close loss to Denver with another Western powerhouse coming to town, the Houston Rockets. Led by NBA scoring-leader, James Harden, the Rockets are 3rd in the West at 24-11. This will be the second time the Hawks and Rockets play each other, with the first meeting ending in blowout fashion with the Rockets winning 158-111. The Hawks will have to work hard to contain Harden, who dropped 60 points on the Hawks in Houston back in November.
Look out for the offensive explosions tonight when two, Trae Young and James Harden, of the NBA’s top four scorers, take the floor tonight in Atlanta. This game has a chance to produce some great highlights. Tip-off in Atlanta will be at 7:30 tonight.