Capela, bench lead Hawks to win over Warriors

Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu (17) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) as he goes up for a basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu (17) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) as he goes up for a basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: John Bazemore

Credit: John Bazemore

The Hawks won 117-111 in a Sunday night home matchup against the Warriors. Clint Capela and two bench players — Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams — led the way. All three scored at least 15 points.

The Hawks (26-24) will practice tomorrow and then face the Pelicans for the second time in five days on Tuesday at State Farm Arena. Atlanta beat New Orleans by 23 points on Friday to extend what is now a three-game winning streak.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday’s win over the Warriors:

1. Atlanta led 105-103 with just over two minutes remaining. Williams, who was already enjoying an impressive fourth quarter, helped the Hawks’ cause by knocking in a 12-foot pull-up jump shot. Add in two tip-in layups from Capela and the Hawks had enough points to put the Warriors away.

Williams, acquired in a trade with the Clippers over a week ago, had a game-high plus/minus of plus-19. He and Gallinari — teammates on the Clippers from 2017-19 — played extensive minutes off the bench, especially in the second half.

“I know what Lou likes,” said Gallinari, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds. “He knows what I like.”

2. Hawks coach Nate McMillan said in his pre-game interview that the result wouldn’t come down to Trae Young vs. Steph Curry. “It’s about Golden State and Atlanta playing tonight,” he said.

The Hawks’ interim coach was right but probably not in the way he hoped. Curry carried the Warriors with 37 points. Young struggled, scoring just 13 points. He missed each of his four 3-point attempts and had just two points in the third quarter. Capela took the lead role for the Hawks, scoring 17 points in the first half and seven in the second. Young didn’t play for most of the fourth quarter.

On defense, McMillan tasked Young with guarding Curry at halftime since Kevin Huerter had trouble stopping the former Most Valuable Player. The coach wanted more aggressive defending without the fouls. Guard Tony Snell eventually took over Young’s job.

“(Curry) pretty much did whatever he wanted in that first half,” McMillan said. “They were pretty much beating us at every position. Every guy was having a night.”

3. Sunday’s game marked the return of several key players for both the Hawks and Warriors. Young returned from left knee soreness. Gallinari sat out Atlanta’s win over New Orleans on Friday but played Sunday, adding 25 points off the bench. Golden State stars Curry and Draymond Green had 37 and 11 points, respectively. They missed the Warriors’ most lopsided loss since 1972 on Friday against the Raptors.

4. Although Young and Gallinari returned Sunday, injuries are still a problem for the Hawks. John Collins (sprained ankle), Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery), De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) will continue to miss playing time. Six days ago, Atlanta relied on Collins’ 38 points to defeat Golden State 124-108 out West. McMillan’s squad couldn’t do that Sunday, as the power forward sat out because of the injury he suffered against the Suns on March 30. He won’t play through at least Wednesday.

5. The Hawks made 35-of-45 free throws attempts. That amounted to a mark of 77.8%. The gluttony of free throw attempts was the result of an aggressive strategy, McMillan said after the game.

“We want to attack the basket, advance the ball,” McMillan said. “45 free throws — I think a lot of those came late because they had to foul, but we want to be the aggressors. That showed tonight with us getting to the free-throw line 45 times.”

Stat of the game

84 (the combined number of minutes for bench players Williams, Gallinari and Snell)

Star of the game

Clint Capela (24 points, 18 rebounds)

Quotable

“This is how you build a great team. Whenever the (bench) guys come in, they know what they have to do on the court,” Capela said.

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