NBA: Hawks win in interim coach Joe Prunty’s debut
Trae Young and Dejounte Murray combined for 59 points and the Atlanta Hawks produced an overwhelming victory for interim coach Joe Prunty’s debut, a 136-119 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Prunty took over when Atlanta dismissed coach Nate McMillan during the All-Star break.
Young scored 34 points, going 14-for-15 from the foul line, with nine assists. Murray scored 25 points on 11-for-19 shooting from the floor with nine rebounds and eight assists. Saddiq Bey scored 19 for his most points since joining the team at the trade deadline.
The Hawks scored 100-plus points for the 35th consecutive game, the longest such streak in the NBA. They surpassed the 100 mark midway in the third quarter. Cleveland entered the game allowing the fewest points in the league (106.3 per game).
Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 33 points, his eighth game with 30-plus points this season. Donovan Mitchell added 19 points and Jarrett Allen had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Evan Mobley scored 13 and surpassed the 2,000-point total for his career.
The groundwork for the win was set in the first half when Atlanta took control. Young scored 12 points in the first quarter to help stake Atlanta to a 32-23 lead and expanded the lead to 81-57 at halftime. The Hawks shot 63.8 percent and scored a season-high first-half total. The 49-point second quarter was the third-highest-scoring quarter in franchise history.
The clubs have split their two meetings this season. They play for the final time on March 28 in Atlanta.
The Hawks played without starting forward John Collins. He fell and hit his head against New York on Feb. 15 and was unable to clear concussion protocol. The team hopes to have Collins available for its next game on Sunday against Brooklyn, the third of five straight home games.
The Cavaliers play again on Sunday when they host Toronto.