Kevin Durant Says Nets Can’t Stay ‘Undisciplined’ After Career-High 55 Points Failed in Loss to Hawks

While most of the basketball world was focused on Saturday’s Final Four, the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets — or, specifically, Kevin Durant and Trae Young — were putting on a show in a game that quietly had serious implications for the NBA. playoff race

The Nets jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but the Hawks pulled ahead during the second quarter and didn’t relinquish that lead. Durant scored a career-high 55 points on 19-of-28 from the field and 8-of-10 from the ground for 3-pointers. Despite his best efforts, the Nets’ comeback attempt fell short and the Hawks held on 122-115 to extend their winning streak to five games.

After the game, Durant spoke about how the Nets have been playing “undisciplined” basketball, a fair accusation given that Brooklyn concedes the sixth-most free throw attempts per game in the league (22.9).

“We’re fouling early,” Durant said. “We got them into the bonus early every quarter; 37-14 [difference in] takes a free kick. And it’s not because of the referees, it was because we’re reaching and being undisciplined and just playing too aggressive. That’s the game. They shot 42% from the field which is a great defense, 31[%] of 3. They’ve outrebounded us by two, and one more assist than us… just fouls. And we can’t do that if we want to be a winning team.”

The Hawks went to the line 49 times and made 37 shots in the win. The Nets, however, took only 19 shots at the charity streak, hitting 14 of them.

While the Nets didn’t win the game, we first need to talk about Durant’s incredible performance. Thirty of his 55 points came in the second half when he tried to push the Nets back, but even that wasn’t enough. Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 86 points, while the rest of the list combined for just 29.

Durant was in such a zone that at one point he casually walked into a one-legged runner from the top of the key. You know you’re feeling it when you start to break shots that you normally would just play in training.

But as brilliant as Durant was, the night ultimately belonged to Young and the Hawks. With his friend Quavo watching from the floor, Young had 36 points, six rebounds and 10 assists and closed out the show in style. With the Hawks holding on to a three-point lead in the final minutes, Young took over. He scored 11 points in the final 91 seconds, including a nasty 3-pointer over Patty Mills with 22.7 seconds remaining that essentially ended the game.

Now, with five straight wins under their belt, the Hawks have improved to 41-37 on the season. Additionally, they edged out both the Nets and Charlotte Hornets to move up to eighth place in the Eastern Conference. That might not seem like a big deal, because they’ll still go to the gate tournament, but if you finish 7th or 8th, you only need to win one game to make the playoffs. The teams in 9th and 10th places have to win twice.

For Brooklyn, this loss to the Hawks is costly as it drops them to 10th in the East and cements that they will have to go through the entry tournament to secure a playoff spot. Although Durant posted a career high, he was more focused on the loss and what it means for his team going forward.

“Every loss deflates,” Durant said. “I’m not even worried about it. I’m mad about the loss. I’m glad I shot the ball well. I made a career-high eight 3-pointers, but I wish I ended up with a W just for doing the little things. My points are going to come.” . My shots are going to come, but the little things we have to do, we have to be on the same page.”

The Nets can still move up the standings to improve their position heading into the entry tournament. However, they will have to rely on some of the teams ahead of them losing some of the final games of the regular season, as well as winning, something that hasn’t been easy for Brooklyn lately.

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