3-point line, Trae Young’s rough night doom Hawks in loss

Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce shouts to the team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce shouts to the team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Jazz (8-4) made 20 3′s on their way to a 116-92 blowout win over the Hawks (5-6) Friday night in Utah.

Next up, the Hawks conclude their West Coast road trip Saturday in Portland.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. On both ends of the floor, the 3-point line killed the Hawks. They couldn’t get shots to fall from distance, shooting 5-for-28 (17.9%), and couldn’t stop the Jazz, who went 20-for-44 (45.5%). That statistic right there put the Hawks in an exceedingly difficult position. Only two Hawks made 3′s (Cam Reddish and Tony Snell) and Reddish, who led the team with 20 points, went 4-for-5, accounting for 80% of the team’s 3′s by himself. Reddish hit the Hawks’ first and only 3-pointer of the first half with 4:34 to play the second quarter, and the Jazz shot 39.1% from 3 to take a 61-46 lead. Even when the Hawks started out the third quarter with an 11-0 run, narrowing the deficit to four, the Jazz made five 3′s that period to stay ahead. “Our containment, our defensive containment on the basketball was a point of emphasis, and we didn’t get it done tonight at all,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “This is a 3-point shooting team that creates 3′s off the dribble and they were able to get into the paint, they were able to beat our guys off the dribble and they were able to spray out.”

2. The Hawks collapsed in the fourth quarter, as they couldn’t get shots to fall and couldn’t get stops on defense. They were outscored 29-18 as the Jazz made six 3′s. Because the Hawks play in Portland Saturday night on the second half of a back-to-back, starters didn’t play much in the fourth quarter (Reddish played the most at 5:24, Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter played 3:15, Trae Young and John Collins played 1:54). “We have to come out and meet the challenge tomorrow,” Pierce said. “That’s part of the reason why those guys were taken out early in the fourth, we knew we have a game tomorrow, let’s get some other guys some minutes and some reps, and see if we can reload and lock in to Portland.”

3. Rookie Onyeka Okongwu checked in midway through the first quarter and officially made his NBA debut, after a stubborn left foot injury (inflammation of the sesamoid bone) had kept him sidelined up until now. Okongwu got his first NBA basket off a hook shot midway through the fourth, and had a great put-back dunk about a minute later. He was on a 15-minute restriction and added four points and six rebounds, but for Okongwu, it was just good to play in a game again: “It was fun for me just to be out there finally getting to play. I haven’t played a game since last year in February so just being out there and playing means the world to me.”

4. Trae Young has only been held to four points twice in his career: in a loss to Golden State in November of his rookie year, and in Friday’s loss to the Jazz. He went 1-for-11 from the field (0-for-2 from 3-point range) and just couldn’t get much going on offense, though he added seven assists and four rebounds. Young had struggled shooting the ball before bouncing back with 26 points in the Hawks’ win vs. the 76ers Monday, but looked off-kilter again and couldn’t get to the free-throw line like he usually does (2-2 FT), which allows him to see the ball go in.

5. Capela started slow, but eventually found a good rhythm running the floor, finishing with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. This was his seventh straight game with double-digit rebounds.

Stat of the game

45.5% (what the Jazz shot from 3, compared to the Hawks’ 17.9%)

Star of the game

Donovan Mitchell (led Utah with 26 points in 29 minutes, going 6-for-10 from 3)


“Denied him the entire game, as much as they could. Challenged him to work. It probably frustrated him, made it difficult to get any entry. He’s used to bringing the ball up and playing and they took that out. It’s a challenge.” (Pierce on how the Jazz were able to limit Young to four points)