2. Although the Wizards are eliminated from both playoff and play-in tournament contention, they’ve been scrappy lately, 5-2 in their last seven games. That continued Wednesday in Atlanta, with the Wizards getting 26 points and 18 rebounds from Kristaps Porzingis. Washington started off strong, shooting 57.1% on field goals in the first half. Then, Trae Young scored 14 points the final 2:17 of the third quarter to put the Hawks up 12 entering the fourth, and he came back in the fourth and hit a 3-pointer at the 4:23 mark to put the game out of reach at 113-95. Young finished with a game-high 30 points and 11 assists for a double-double.
“Wow, I didn’t know that,” Young said of scoring 14 points in 2:17 to end the third. “I just wanted to be more aggressive. I saw that Kristaps was more in drop coverage and I was telling our big men to set the screen and I knew I was going to be able to come off and get a clean look at the 3, and it’s something I’ve worked on, something I can still get better at. I’m not too comfortable at it, I don’t do it a lot, but I knew I was going to have that shot, and I was able to hit a couple of them.”
3. Although Young’s burst of offense certainly helped, Hawks coach Nate McMillan pointed to the Hawks buckling down on defense leading to their success in this game. The Hawks held the Wizards to 38 points in the second half.
“Solid defense to start that second half, offensively normally that puts you in a better rhythm because you’re getting out in transition and able to get something easy,” McMillan said. “And our guys were able to knock down those shots and just finish the game.”
4. Both of these teams were playing on the second night of a back-to-back with travel, the Hawks having lost in Toronto and the Wizards picking up a surprising win in Minnesota, so neither team had the rest advantage. Even on tired legs, the Hawks only utilized an eight-man rotation, with John Collins (right ring finger sprain/right foot strain) and Lou Williams (low back discomfort) out. One big boost for the Hawks was getting back Danilo Gallinari (left knee inflammation), whose size and shooting they missed in Tuesday’s loss to the Raptors. Gallinari finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
“It’s huge,” McMillan said of getting Gallinari back. “He’s a big part of what we do. Normally he’s with that second group, but because JC has been out, we’ve inserted him into that starting lineup, and he’s just been solid for us. I tried to rotate, set the rotation up so that he can get back with that second group, so that’s why we went to pretty much an eight-man rotation tonight, and it worked for us. I thought it was good for us.”
5. This marked the Hawks’ final home game of the regular season, and in the second half of the season, they’ve enjoyed ample success at State Farm Arena. Since Jan. 17, the Hawks have gone 19-3, the most home wins in the league over that span. They finish the regular season having won 11 of their last 12 home games, and having won four straight home games.
Stat of the game: 11 (the amount of steals the Hawks tallied, with four from Clint Capela and four from Delon Wright, forcing the Wizards into 14 turnovers compared to six for the Hawks)
Star of the game: Young (led the Hawks with 30 points and 11 assists, finishing as a plus-28)
Quotable: “It was great, and that’s something we know he can do every night. When he does it, those moments, it’s impossible to guard him.” (Gallinari on Young’s scoring burst to end the third quarter)