Hawks overwhelm Magic, aim to stay in No. 4 spot

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Hawks (40-31) blew out the Magic, 116-93, Thursday at State Farm Arena, as the race to determine the No. 4-6 seeds in the Eastern Conference continues.

Next up, the Hawks conclude the regular season at home Sunday vs. the Rockets.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. Both the Heat and Knicks won Thursday night, but the Hawks still occupy the No. 4 spot in the standings, leading those teams by a half-game. The Hawks needed both a win and a Miami loss to clinch the Southeast Division title, so that still evades them for now. They’re aiming to nab homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs, and the best thing they can do to put themselves in that position is to beat the Rockets Sunday, in their final game: “We’ve still got one more game left. ... There’s no relax,” said Kevin Huerter (14 points and six rebounds off the bench). “Our goal is to win out. We said a couple days ago that we had a really good homestand coming up to control our own destiny and we’re looking at Sunday as a game we have to win if we want to be in that 4-seed and get home court.” However, if the Knicks were to win both of their remaining games and the Heat went 1-1, the Knicks would leapfrog the Hawks to No. 4.

2. This game wasn’t beautiful, but the Hawks coasted to an easy win against the shorthanded Magic, who were missing Michael Carter-Williams, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Otto Porter Jr., to name a few. The Hawks held the Magic to 16 points in the first quarter, a season-best defensive mark for an opening period, led by 20 at halftime and by 22 entering the fourth quarter. On the second half of a back-to-back and with a huge lead, Hawks starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter (outside of 2:38 by Solomon Hill), but Atlanta still won the fourth 23-22. “It was good to get all those guys minutes. ... With us playing a back-to-back, we had a lot of guys questionable before the game and we really needed to get our bench minutes tonight,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. Trae Young added 18 points and seven assists and Clint Capela added 14 points, 14 rebounds and two steals.

Hawks 116, Magic 93 (box score)

3. With four 3-pointers each, Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins continued their good shooting streaks. Bogdanovic finished with a game-high 27 points (9-for-12 FG, 4-for-7 from 3, 5-for-5 FT), to go with five assists and two steals, on his career-best streak of making at least two 3′s in 16 consecutive games. Collins added 12 points (4-for-9 FG, 4-for-6 from 3) and six rebounds and is shooting 52.9% from 3-point range over the past four games.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. The Hawks have won 10 games in a row at home, the league’s longest active home winning streak. They’re 18-2 in their past 20 home games.

5. Forward De’Andre Hunter didn’t play in Wednesday’s win vs. the Wizards, since he recently returned from injury and the Hawks didn’t want him to overdo it on a back-to-back. But, he was back Thursday, finishing with four points (1-for-7 FG, 0-for-3 from 3, 2-for-2 FT), three rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal in 15 minutes. Toward the end of the third quarter and in the fourth, Hunter ran with the second unit. Even if he’s on a minute restriction and working to get back in a shooting rhythm, it’s valuable for the Hawks to get Hunter back in the regular season, so he can ease back into things before the playoffs.

Stat of the game

-17 (every Magic starter finished as a -17 or worse)

Star of the game

Bogdanovic (led the Hawks with 27 points, sinking four 3′s)


“I thought our guys came out with a business mindset, take care of business right from the start.” (McMillan on the Hawks jumping out to a big lead early, knowing they needed to put away this win)