The number one seed in the East, the Atlanta Hawks wound up having a much tougher test than many saw occurring for them with their game victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Hawks used 21 points from Kyle Korver to hold off a stubborn Nets team to take game one 99-92.
The Hawks, who rely heavily on several passes before taking a single shot and no superstars, a true mark of a total team effort, lost a key piece late in the game when All-Star center Al Horford dislocated his right pinkie finger going for a rebound in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks cannot afford another injury to any key players as forward Paul Millsap missed the last 5 games of the regular season and looked rusty today as he scored just six points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Kyle Korver did have some help as Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll scored 17 points apiece for the Hawks. The Nets kept it close with Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez each scoring 17 points each.
One point of interest was Joe Johnson, was a perennial All-Star during his seven seasons in Atlanta, was booed every time he touched the ball for the Nets.
The Atlanta fans were not forgiving to the departed superstar.
The Nets may have slipped into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, but they have already made it known that they won’t be lying down for the Hawks, and an upset is not out of the question.
The seven-point loss was actually an encouraging sign for the Nets as they lost the four regular-season meetings to Atlanta by an average of more than 17 points.