1. With this victory, the Hawks clinched a spot in the play-in tournament, which will involve the No. 7-10 seeds playing to see who advances to the playoffs. Although the Hawks hope to avoid the play-in and finish in the top 6 of the Eastern Conference standings, getting into the expanded playoff picture was one of the team’s main goals this season, so it’s quite an accomplishment to achieve that with seven regular-season games still remaining. As of Saturday night, the Hawks occupy the No. 5 spot.
2. In his second game back from injury, Trae Young had an efficient outing with a game-high 33 points (9-for-14 field goals, 4-for-8 from 3-point range, 11-for-12 free throws), seven assists, three rebounds and two steals, slicing up the Bulls’ defense. With this performance, Young, in his third NBA season, broke a franchise record for the most 30-plus point performances (58) in a player’s first three seasons as a Hawk (surpassing Bob Pettit with 58). “I thought tonight, he did a good job of attacking, running some sets, getting other guys involved, and managing the game tonight,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought he did a real solid job.”
3. Finally, the Hawks are getting healthier. They got Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) and Kevin Huerter (left shoulder sprain) back for this game, missing only two players due to injury: De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness). It looked like they might have another bout of bad injury luck when Tony Snell, who just Friday came back from a right ankle sprain, seemed to come down wrong on his right ankle in the second quarter. But, he was available to return, and started the second half. Bogdanovic added 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, Huerter added six points and Snell added three points and two steals.
4. After three straight blowout losses on the road, the Hawks returned home and were hoping to show more intensity on the defensive end, even though they were playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Although they trailed by nine at halftime, they started out the second half on a 22-6 run to take back the lead, and tied a season-best effort in holding the Bulls to 12 points in the third. The Bulls were missing two of their best players in Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols) and Nikola Vucevic (right adductor tightness) and only managed 34 points total in the second half. “I thought they responded to a really not-so-good first half … second half we came out and we tightened up our defense,” McMillan said.
5. Both of the Hawks starting bigs, center Clint Capela and power forward John Collins, finished with double-doubles. Capela added 20 points and 11 rebounds, in his 43rd double-double out of 57 games this season, and Collins had 13 points and 10 rebounds, contributing a season-high tying four steals.
Stat of the game
12 (what the Hawks limited the Bulls to in the third quarter, with Chicago shooting 27.3% from the field, which turned the tide of the game)
Star of the game
Young (had an efficient 33 points and steered the Hawks to victory)
“... It’s more fun when you’re playing games that matter. So now, it’s all about learning and going through it.” (Young on playing meaningful games late in the season for the first time in his career)