The Atlanta Hawks have been rolling since they replaced Lloyd Pierce with Nate McMillan as their coach. With Tuesday’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Hawks moved to 13-4 since McMillan took over, but even they couldn’t have predicted how hot they were going to get in the third quarter of their latest victory.
The Hawks and Pelicans were tied at 61 at halftime. That’s an average of over 30 points per quarter for both teams. Not too shabby. And then, Atlanta took things to the next level. They dropped 46 points in the third quarter thanks to a historic shooting stretch. In the 12 minutes that made up the third quarter, the Hawks shot 11-for-11 on 3-pointers.
Unsurprisingly, the Hawks set the record for most made 3-pointers by a team in a single quarter without missing. That record had previously been held by the Cleveland Cavaliers at 9-for-9, so the Hawks broke it with some breathing room. For the game as a whole, the Hawks shot 64.1 percent from behind the arc in making 20 of their 31 attempts. They scored 123 points in the game, a somewhat modest total given their explosive third quarter, but with the fourth quarter effectively little more than garbage time, Atlanta had little need to score more than 16.
This level of shooting is obviously unsustainable, but it’s a fitting manifestation of their recent success. The Hawks are getting healthier and jelling at the right time. Tuesday was their best offensive game of the season, but they should keep growing from here.