MEXICO CITY -- The Hawks fed off the electricity of the crowd at Arena CDMX and downed the Magic 120-119 on Thursday.

Here are five observations.

1. The Hawks had a electric start to the game, and picked it up again in the fourth quarter. When Magic built a 111-100 lead over the Hawks with 8:13 left in the game, the Hawks made stops and shots.

Down the stretch center Clint Capela and forward Jalen Johnson drew charges that electrified the team and took away the ball from the Magic. Capela drew a charge on Franz Wagner and it led to a layup from Johnson gave the Hawks a 114-113 lead with 4:04 left.

Just over three minuters later, Johnson drew a charge off of Paolo Banchero which put the ball in Trae Young’s hands. The Hawks guard drove to the paint and drew a foul off of Banchero that put him on the line.

While the Hawks missed a few free throws down stretch, the Hawks found each other for the right shots. With 31.1 seconds left in the game, Young found Dejounte Murray in the corner for a 3 that sealed the win.

“Yeah, I just wanted to try to make a play,” Young said.

2. After a cold shooting night against the Thunder on Monday, the Hawks warmed against the Magic. They shot over 50% from the floor and stayed warm throughout the evening from 3. They shot 61.1% from the floor in the first quarter while forcing the Magic to work for each of their baskets.

Unfortunately, the offense cooled in the second half. They struggled to hit their shots as the Magic found life on both ends of the floor. The Hawks made just nine of 27 attempts in the third quarter.

3. The hot offensive night was fueled by a hot scoring night from Young, who took control of the game in the second quarter.

He torched the Magic, hitting five of his seven attempts from the floor and stepping into his shots with confidence. He had 33 points by the end of the first half after taking advantage of some mismatches with Magic rookie Anthony Black.

He did exactly what the team needed from him on the defensive end as they have all committed to collectivelty defending the ball. Young read passes correctly, picking off the Magic twice to end the night with two steals along with his 40 points, five rebounds and eight assists.

“He’s a competitor and he’s been grinding,” Snyder said. “He really has. I feel like he’s had some really good games. Tonight, he got to see the ball go in the basket. He deserves that because he’s kept a really great focus, defending and doing all those things trying to make other people better.”

4. Despite the best efforts of both teams to stave off the effects of the altitude, some of the lethargy seemed to set in during the third quarter of the night. The offense fell stagnant and both teams needed to take time outs to give their players a breather.

“The altitude affected all of us,” Young said. “It affected me too. There was a moment in the third quarter I had to come out. I usually come out early in the third quarter anyways. I mean I asked a couple more seconds before the altitude got to me. I was getting really tired in the third and then I was able to get a breather.”

Mexico City sits 7,350 ft above sea level, which is much further above than cities the Hawks have experienced altitude in like Denver.

5. The crowd watching the action from Arena CDMX loved the offensive surge from Young in the first half. The Hawks and Magic played in front of a sellout crowd of 19,986 fans who looked to take advantage of the NBA’s presence in Mexico City.

The league has looked to grow its global presence, hosting games all ove the globe.

“One of the best environments, I’ve played in,” Johnson said. “The crowd, they definitely brought us energy, especially down the stretch.”

Stat to know

With his fourth three-pointer of the game, Trae Young (25 years, 51 days), becomes the third-youngest player in NBA history to knock down 900 triples, surpassing Devin Booker (25 years, 90 days).


“It’s just important for us to take in because if you stop taking you don’t get an opportunity to make them.” -- Snyder on the Hawks better shooting night.

Up Next

The Hawks return to State Farm Arena on Saturday to host the Heat.