NBA: Balanced Hawks cruise past Wizards
ATLANTA — Dejounte Murray had 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks buried the Washington Wizards 130-121 on Wednesday night for their third straight win.
Murray, who was coming off a career-high tying 41-point effort against the Timberwolves, shot 10-for-15 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
Six other Hawks (3-2) scored in double figures. Trae Young finished with 23 points and 10 assists after connecting on 7 of 18 shots. He entered the game shooting just 31% from the field through four games.
“My shot still isn’t falling and we are winning ballgames, so that’s good for me,” Young said.
De’Andre Hunter had 23 points and seven rebounds, Onyeka Okongwu had 16 and 11 rebounds, Saddiq Bey 14, Bogdan Bogdanovic had 12 and Clint Capela had 10.
“That’s indicative of our unselfishness,” said Hawks coach Quin Snyder. “It is a byproduct of us being willing to move the ball.”
Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards (1-3) with 25 points and Deni Avdija had 22.
The Hawks led by 17 with just over three minutes left, but had several sloppy turnovers and the Wizards eventually got the lead under 10 in the final minute.
“We started a little flat, but I liked how we picked it up,” Snyder said. “We did not execute how we wanted to at the end of the fourth quarter. We need to work on playing the full 48 minutes.”
The Hawks opened the game up with a decisive 14-2 run early in the third quarter that increased a 9-point lead to 21. Five different players scored during the blitz for the Hawks, who had all five starters in double figures by the middle of the third quarter.
Another big night for DJ 📈
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 2, 2023
Murray was part of two highlight-worthy plays on the night. In the third quarter, he picked off a Washington pass and went in for an uncontested roundhouse dunk. In the second quarter, Murray knocked down a 3 after a brilliant assist from Young, who drove into the lane and kicked a pass out while falling down. That hoop gave Atlanta a 57-48 lead.
“I have a lot of trust in my teammates to throw that pass, because I have to throw it blind,” Young said. “I work on that to be able to make those plays.”
The Wizards came into the game coming off a one-sided loss to the Celtics where they fell behind by 23 points in the first quarter. Against the Hawks, Washington showed the urgency coach Wes Unseld was hoping for early and built a 30-25 lead after one. Jordan Poole had 10 points and Kuzma 9 in the opening stanza.
Snyder said he is pleased his team has some momentum heading into a road trip, but he stressed the regular season is a long haul.
“The sky was not falling when we lost our first two, and we don’t need to congratulate ourselves for winning three,” he said.
Wizards starting center Daniel Gafford missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Mike Muscala, who had seven points in 22 minutes.
Washington forward Corey Kispert sprained his left ankle after 14 minutes and did not return.
Wizards: At Miami on Friday night for the second game of a four-game trip.
Hawks: At New Orleans on Saturday night.