The Atlanta Hawks got all they could handle from the hosting San Antonio Spurs, though the former still came out of the scrum as the victor.
And, according to them, they had to do it with one arm partly tied behind their collective back.
“This ain’t the first game that’s been happening to us. We’re learning, we’re playing through it, and we’re just not letting it affect us. And we just gotta keep going,” Young told Tabitha Turner of Bally Sports. “I feel bad for Dre. He couldn’t even play tonight. He was playing regular basketball. But we won, it’s on to the next one, and we just gotta keep it going.”
Hunter picked up his fourth personal foul 48 seconds into the third quarter. He would foul out with 2:33 remaining after helping the Hawks knot the game up just minutes earlier. Hunter finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Young was not the only member of the Hawks to speak out against what they felt was an unfair whistle.
Head coach Quin Snyder has noticed a bit of a trend.
“One of these days, Hunt’s gonna get a break,” Snyder said after the game via Bally Sports. “He was in position a number of times too. For whatever reason he seems to be – you watch the tape and it’s hard to differentiate. … It’s really hard to play through foul trouble, particularly as he’s experienced it in a number of games.”
Hunter is averaging a career-high 3.2 fouls per game on the year. But he averaged 3.0 fouls per game over the first 14 games of this season. Over the last four, he is averaging 5.5 fouls per contest.
“I thought he could play longer with the foul trouble he was in. That wasn’t the case,” Snyder said. “I felt like we needed him on the floor. … I feel like we need him in there to win.”
Hawks lose key piece with De'Andre Hunter ejection vs. Spurs
The Hawks are now 8-3 when Hunter scores at least 12 points this season. They have gone 1-6 when he’s scored 10 points or fewer. That has not happened in this recent run of foul troubles. It does illustrate how vital he is to their attack, though.
Atlanta moved back to .500 on the season with the win, snapping their most recent skid at two games. They will wrap up their five-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks looking to come out on top of the venture. Milwaukee is coming off an upset loss at full strength against a short-handed Chicago Bulls team.
The Bucks won the first meeting – in Milwaukee – 127-110 on October 29. Hunter scored 15 points in that contest.