Hawks' big man sends 'grateful' message after career night in win

Atlanta Hawks center Bruno Fernando offered strong sentiments after helping his team to a big win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Atlanta Hawks center Bruno Fernando
Atlanta Hawks center Bruno Fernando / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (31-39) got an empathic win over the Charlotte Hornets, and several players came away with impressive stat lines.

It’s hard to find one more so than backup center Bruno Fernando.

Fernando finished with a career-high 25 points adding six rebounds, one assist, one block, and a few highlight-reel plays. The fifth-year man out of Maryland sent a strong message after the performance.


It was a veritable bounceback for Fernando.

His 25 minutes outpaced starter Clint Capela – who finished the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and one block in 22 minutes – after he saw 13 minutes in the last two games combined.

Asked what his mentality was following the fluctuation in playing time, Fernando said it was “the same.”

“It's always been just trying to impact the game however I can,” Fernando told reporters after the game. “Just trying to find ways to help the team, whether it’s defensively or tonight was kind of like a night where I felt like I was involved offensively. But like I said, it's just trying to come in and do my job.”

“Guys did a good job finding me when I was open, and that's really what it led to.”

Trae Young shouts out Bruno Fernando, Garrison Mathews after Hawks win

Fernando’s effort drew praise from injured teammate Trae Young, who also tipped his cap to swingman Garrison Mathews. Mathews finished with a season-high 20 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the contest.

He also replied to Young’s message, calling the Hawks’ three-time All-Star his “dawg,” in a quoted post.

“G Bird & Brunooooooo,” Young posted on X. “WeMove!”

Fernando and Mathews have been called upon all season as injuries have ravaged the Hawks, and they have responded more often than not. It’s one of many storylines overshadowed by the tumultuous season.

Dejounte Murray continues strong stretch for injury-depleted Hawks

Dejounte Murray’s strong play has arguably been the most underappreciated storyline of the Hawks’ season, particularly amid Young’s injury, and he continued his surge in the win over the Hornets.

He had 28 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds, tying his season high with five steals.

Murray is averaging 25.5 points while shooting 39.2% from beyond the arc with 8.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals over the last 14 games since Young has been out.

The Hawks are just 7-7 in those games, though, and this was just their second win in the last seven outings. They did snap a two-game losing streak in their first game back for a five-game homestand. Perhaps this was a sign of what is yet to come.

Up next are the Boston Celtics, owners of the NBA’s best record at 57-14.