With the 7th seed of the Eastern conference fixed, it is now time for deciding the 8th seed of the competition. The Cleveland Cavaliers await the winner from the 9th seeded Atlanta Hawks and the 10th seeded Charlotte Hornets.
The Charlotte Hornets went with their starting lineup of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier, PJ Washington and Mason Plumlee. The Atlanta Hawks started with Trae Young, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Heurter and Danilo Gallinari.
The opening tip went to the Hornets and they started the game by draining a three from LaMelo Ball. Then another 3 from Terry Rozier. The Hawks were not one to take it lying down so they responded with layups. It was apparent from the shots being traded that the match was going to be spectacular to watch.
But the Hawks soon started to gain the upper hand in the game as they started to attack the rim and swerve the ball from one end to another. The Hornets struggled a bit but they hit their stride in the 2nd quarter going head to head. However, the Hawks took the 1st half with 60-52 lead.
Once the 2nd half commenced, the Hawks went absolutely crazy making shots after shots. The duo of Trae Young and De’Andre Hunter completely punished the Hornets defence as they shot rainbows plus Young was making sure all his teammates got the ball where they want it.
The score gap widened a lot and the Hornets could not recover from that. They tried to come back but the Hawks offence could not be stopped and the Hornets did not seem to have an answer on the defensive end. The game buzzer sounded and the Hawks took the victory.
Trae Young put up a double-double on the match with 24 points, 11 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block. The beauty of the Hawks game was that every player with the exception of Young were extremely efficient. They made quality shots and thanks to coach Nate McMillan, they kept up their defense.
De’Andre Hunter came up big with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Kevin Heurter scored 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Clint Capela took on the interior on both ends of the floor with 15 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Danilo Gallinari efficiently scored 18 points.
LaMelo Ball was the star of the Hornets with 26 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Terry Rozier was their second leading scorer with 21 points and 4 rebounds. Miles Bridges scored a measly 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. PJ Washington scored 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Hawks move on to the next round with a 132-103 crushing victory. They will now face against the Cleveland Cavaliers and fight for the 8th seed. Only one of the two teams will be seeing Miami Heat for the 1st round of the playoffs. Will the Hawks set flight or the Cavaliers plummet to victory? Let’s see!