Hawks’ shooting struggles continue in fourth loss in a row

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) talk to each other after an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. The Hornets won 113-105. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) talk to each other after an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. The Hornets won 113-105. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Credit: Jacob Kupferman

Credit: Jacob Kupferman

The Hawks (4-5) fell to the Hornets, 113-105, Saturday night in Charlotte, recording their fourth straight loss.

Next up, the Hawks host the Sixers at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. While running in transition, Bogdan Bogdanovic took an awkward step and went down midway through the second quarter, and had to be helped back to the locker room. He was ruled out with a right knee injury and did not return to the game. Bogdanovic had gotten his second start of the season, in place of Cam Reddish. It’s not clear what his specific injury is yet, and if he’ll miss any games moving forward, though after the game Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce did say he’s “probably going to be out for a while.” It’s a tough break for the Hawks, who already have a lengthy injury report and are missing Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery), Danilo Gallinari (right ankle sprain), Onyeka Okongwu (inflammation, sesamoid bone, left foot) and Rajon Rondo (right knee injury maintenance).

2. Reddish had struggled mightily from the field over the past four games (11-for-41 field goals, or 26.8%, and 4-for-19 from 3, or 21%), and although he wasn’t efficient in Saturday’s loss, he at least saw the ball go in the basket, leading the team with 21 points (6-17 FG, 4-13 from 3, 5-6 free throws). He added five rebounds and four steals. “It was good to see him playing under control, attacking the rim, getting himself to the free-throw line, to see the basketball go in,” Pierce said. “And obviously seeing a couple 3′s go down as well, but just being able to play downhill.”

3. The Hawks were down nine at halftime and had several opportunities to tie it in the third quarter when trailing by three, but instead fell behind by 11, 87-76, entering the fourth as the game slipped out of reach. They got plenty of open looks, but simply couldn’t capitalize, as their 3-point shooting struggles continue (Trae Young normally leads those efforts but went 0-for-5 from 3; he banged up his wrist in the game but said it’s “nothing severe.”) They’ve combined to shoot 28.65% from 3 over the past four games: “As simple as it may sound, we had I think two or three shots to cut it, to tie it, 76-79 and they were up,” Pierce said. “We had a couple good looks. ... To me that possession summed up the rest of the game. We couldn’t make the open shots and they hit a couple big ones. All of the sudden, you think you can tie the ballgame up, and they kind of swing the momentum and as they were hitting the shots, it went up to about 15 after that.”

4. LaMelo Ball became the youngest player (19 years, 140 days) in NBA history to record a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. He went 9-for-13 from the field (69.2%), 3-for-5 from 3-point range (60%) and 1-for-2 from the line.

5. Second-year wing De’Andre Hunter continued his strong sophomore campaign, adding 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. With that performance, Hunter is averaging 20 points in January, over the past five games.

Stat of the game

17 (the impressive amount of offensive rebounds the Hawks pulled down, though they couldn’t convert many of them)

Star of the game

Ball (became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double and paced the Hornets’ offense)

Quotable

“Play some defense. ... Basically, get on the same page on that side of the ball.” (Reddish on how the Hawks can pull out of this four-game skid)

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