Making the right moves down the final stretch of the game, the Hawks (31-26) held off the Pacers, 129-117, Sunday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, Atlanta hosts the Magic Tuesday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. Every time the Pacers (26-30) cut into the Hawks’ lead, Atlanta responded well — an excellent sign for a team that struggled to close games in the season’s first half.

The Hawks jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and clawed to stay ahead in the second, after the Pacers found a shooting rhythm, but still had a 66-57 advantage at halftime.

TJ McConnell tied the game 107-107 with 4:40 left in the fourth, but Kevin Huerter hit a clutch 3-pointer, Trae Young found Clint Capela for an alley-oop and Bogdan Bogdanovic for another 3 to take a 115-109 lead. Another layup by Capela and a 3-pointer from the logo by Young put the game out of reach with less than two minutes left.

“We got a little rattled there, but we got our composure back, and were able to execute down the stretch, defensively get some stops, offensively score the ball,” interim coach Nate McMillan said.

2. The Hawks spread the scoring attack and had four players with 23-plus points.

Young led the team with 34 points, Capela had 25 points and Huerter notched 23 points. Continuing his hot streak, Bogdanovic contributed 23 and has now scored 20-plus points in four straight games for the first time in his career.

Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic reacts to hitting a three pointer against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, April 18, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)
Caption
Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic reacts to hitting a three pointer against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, April 18, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

3. Young looked more in-sync, particularly in the fourth quarter, after struggling with his shooting in Thursday’s loss to the Bucks — his first game back after missing two games with a left calf contusion. Young had 14 points and four assists in Sunday’s fourth quarter alone (34 points and 11 assists overall). He still struggled with his floater in the first half, going 9-21 from the field and 3-9 from 3-point range overall. He had success going to the line, making 13 of 14 attempts.

After the game, Young said his calf is still healing but feeling better.

McMillan bragged on Young’s low number of turnovers (two): “His turnovers have been in the five and seven range, and as I told him, he’s better than that ... I think he can have this type of game most nights. So this is not a surprise to me. He has shown his ability to score the basketball, his ability to move the ball, and what I wanted him to do is do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”

4. After a nearly three-week absence, John Collins returned to the court for Atlanta. Collins missed nine games after spraining his left ankle in the March 30 loss to the Suns. His return gives the injury-plagued Hawks a boost at the right time. He was on a 20-minute restriction and will have to work back to game shape. He finished with eight points, two rebounds and one assist, but his availability is huge for the team.

Hawks forward John Collins grabs the offensive rebound and goes to the board against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, April 18, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)
Caption
Hawks forward John Collins grabs the offensive rebound and goes to the board against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, April 18, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

5. With their surge in the second half under McMillan, the Hawks have positioned themselves well in the Eastern Conference standings. Now, it’s about maintaining that No. 4 spot, or trying to pad their lead. Sunday’s win helps the Hawks hold off the surging Celtics (31-26), who had briefly leapfrogged them. With this win, the Hawks and Celtics are tied at No. 4, but the Hawks have the tiebreaker.

Stat of the game

57-48 (the Hawks won the rebounding battle, thanks mostly to Capela)

Star of the game

Capela (played well defensively and had his second 20-plus rebound, 20-plus point game of the season with 25 points, 24 rebounds)

Quotable

“We definitely want to be a Top 4 (seed) ... There’s still 15 games left that we need to prove that, because it’s not over, but we definitely have the potential to be there, especially by getting our guys back, we’re going to keep getting better. So it’s really exciting.” (Capela on the Hawks’ potential once more injured players return)