Reacting and Sharing notes on the Atlanta Hawks victory over Minneosta.
The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night by a score of 127-120.
It was one of the Hawks’ best defensive efforts of the season… until the fourth quarter. But we’ll get to that later.
In the first, the Hawks came out with the hot hand offensively, making 11 of their first 12 non-threes to jump out to a double-digit 1st quarter lead. They placed good defense in the first period despite piling up their own turnovers.
They still went into the 2nd quarter with a 36-24 lead, which they grew up to 15 early on in the 2nd. The lead hung around that 10-15 point range for most of the quarter, with both teams making mini-runs. The half ended a in a bit of an ugly way for the Hawks, with Minny pulling withing six before the break. The Hawks led by eight at the half.
The third quarter was one of the Hawks’ all-around best in recent memory, playing both solid defense and patient, mistake-free offense. Trae Young heated up in the 3rd period after a ho-hum 1st half by his standards.
Their lead shot up to 21, a rare occurrence of a 20-point Atlanta lead, which is usually a 20-point Hawks deficit.
Things turned in the final period, with the Timberwolves looking like a team desperate not to lose their 13th straight, and the Hawks looking like the team we’ve seen all year defensively.
Minnesota more than doubled their point total from the 3rd quarter, scoring 43 in the period. Atlanta, mostly Trae Young, did just enough on offense to hold on for their 14th victory.
With the team up just five with under a minute to go, Vince Carter hit a corner three to essentially wrap things up.
Even with the team nearly blowing a 21-point lead, the attention focused away from the game. Early in the fourth quarter, reports came out that Dewayne Dedmon would be rejoining the team via a trade with Sacramento. The Hawks also recived two second-rounders, but Jabari Parker and Alex Len are being sent to Sacramento to make the deal work.
We covered that more here, included grading the trade.
- Trae Young nearly missed recording his ninth 40 point game on the season, finishing with 38 points and 11 assists.
- Young and Damian Jones had the lob working all the night, with the two connecting for four of them. Jones finished with 14 points on 6/7 shooting.
- John Collins also lived near the rim tonight, hitting a few outside shots as well for 27 points.
- The Hawks committed 19 turnovers, their most since January 20th. They have been improving on protecting the ball, but not tonight.
- Brandon Goodwin clocked more minutes than Jeff Teague tonight, and the three point guards combined for 76 minutes out of the possible 48. They were playing together all night, including all three at once at one point.
The win was much needed for a Hawks team that suddenly has a whole lot of excitement around it.
They’ll look to keep things rolling on Friday in Boston, in which we may see the debut of Dedmon, Capela, or both.