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Hawks stave off Nets, Kevin Durant’s 55 points

Sportsnaut
Apr 2, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles guarded by Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Young scored 36 points — nine in the final minute — to help the Atlanta Hawks offset a career-high 55-point night from Kevin Durant and hang on to beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 122-115 on Saturday.

After Brooklyn cut Atlanta’s lead to 111-108 on a Durant dunk with 1:23 remaining, Young scored on a floater and 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight points with 23.5 seconds left. The Hawks were 6-for-6 at the line in the final minute, four by Young, to put the game away.

Atlanta (41-37) won its fifth straight game and moved into No. 8 in the Eastern Conference, dropping Brooklyn (40-38) into the 10th spot. Atlanta finished the season 1-2 against Brooklyn and broke a three-game losing streak against the Nets.

Young was 10-for-24 from the floor, four of them 3s, and 12-for-14 from the line, along with 10 assists and six rebounds for his 39th double-double. De’Andre Hunter and Danilo Gallinari each scored 15.

Durant was 19-for-28 from the floor and 8-for-10 on 3-pointers with seven rebounds and bested his career high of 54 points against Oklahoma City set in 2014.

Kyrie Irving scored 31 points, including seven 3s, and six assists. The Nets have lost three of four.

Brooklyn had a 10-point lead early in the first quarter and led 30-28 thanks to 15 points from Durant. But Atlanta’s aggressive approach led to a season-high 30 free throws in the half, 22 of them successful. The Hawks led 65-50 when Gallinari drained a long 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in the half.

The Hawks led by as many as 15 points at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter on Young’s 3-pointer but could not slow Durant. He scored 19 points in the period and the Nets were able to cut Atlanta’s lead to 94-87 entering the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn cut the lead to 97-93 when Cam Thomas made three free throws at 9:59, only to have Atlanta’s second unit score 10 straight and restore a 14-point lead at 7:15.

Both teams return to action on Tuesday, with Brooklyn hosting Houston and Atlanta traveling to Toronto.

–Field Level Media