3. Entering the game, Clint Capela had looked a half-step slow in his past two outings after missing the first two games of the season with left Achilles soreness and not playing in an NBA game since Jan. 29 when he was still with Houston. Of course, until a few months ago, he had dealt with a nagging right heel injury for nearly a year, so it’s understandable. Capela looked much more comfortable and aggressive in Friday’s win, finishing with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. He also had a career-high six assists. “I thought today, he just brought it. ... He had a tremendous mindset tonight and it was good to see him get rewarded with some baskets at the rim, and him make some plays for some other guys, as well,” Pierce said.
4. De’Andre Hunter was ultra-efficient and confident on offense, and had a solid defensive game, as well. Hunter didn’t miss a shot until the third quarter, opening up the game 6-for-6 from the field and finishing 9-for-10 overall and 3-for-4 from 3-point range, leading the Hawks with 23 points, to go with six rebounds. In addition, he did a good job of limiting Irving.
5. With Trae Young’s fourth assist of the night, he reached 1,250 career assists (in his 146th game). Young added 21 points and led the team with seven assists total.
Stat of the game
8 (the amount of steals the Hawks had, with Kevin Huerter grabbing four and Brandon Goodwin, Cam Reddish, Young and Solomon Hill each grabbing one)
Star of the game
Hunter (defended Irving well, and led the Hawks in scoring)
“I feel like we proved that we are real contenders in the East. ... We are not a joke.” (John Collins, who added 20 points and eight rebounds, on what this win says about the Hawks, as they try to go from 20-47 last year to the playoffs this year)