The last time the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks squared off against each other on the hardwood gave fans one of the most enthralling contests of the 2023-24 season, with Mikal Bridges and Trae Young simply refusing to let up by making one insane shot in the clutch after another. On Wednesday night, it was deja vu in State Farm Arena, with the Nets and Hawks' best players trading haymakers yet again in crunch-time.
This time, however, it was the Nets that came out victorious, but it didn't come without its fair share of tense moments. For one, with Brooklyn leading by two, 112-110, with around 20 seconds left in the game, Young went to work on Dennis Smith Jr. in isolation. The Hawks star shook his defender with a mean snatchback, pulling up for three to take the lead with 16.5 seconds remaining.
The Nets, however, weren't fazed. Despite having one timeout, they decided to bring the ball up the length of the court to prevent the Hawks from making defensive substitutions. Mikal Bridges then, despite having De'Andre Hunter draped all over him, pulled up for a contested, off-balance midrange jumper going to his right, swishing it to give Brooklyn back the lead with 4.5 seconds remaining.
Trae Young and Mikal Bridges trading CLUTCH buckets down the stretch 👀
Bridges' middy gives the Nets the lead with 4.5 remaining!pic.twitter.com/G05fzqQnPK
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 7, 2023
The Hawks still had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but Trae Young ended up missing the potential game-winner, giving the Nets the retaliatory 114-113 victory as a bounce-back for their heartbreaking 147-145 loss back on November 22.
There's something about the air in State Farm Arena that brings out the best in both Young and Mikal Bridges whenever the Hawks and Nets face each other. On Wednesday night, both Young and Bridges had 30-point nights, scoring 30 and 32 points, respectively, and the two stars were even better during their first matchup this season, with the Hawks star dropping 43 points and nine assists against the Nets star's 45 points and 10 rebounds.
The Nets' win moves them to 11-9 on the season, while the Hawks are falling off the .500 pace, as that defeat hands them their 11th in 20 contests this year. Fans will have to wait until February 29 before they witness the two teams exchange blows in a high-octane affair once again.