The Hawks tried to move forward after the leaking of a “private” matter about a day ago and looked ready to extend their win streak to three. They led by as many as 14 points midway through the third quarter, but they struggled to outwork the Thunder in the second half. Atlanta (13-11) fell 121-114 on Monday night.

1. The Hawks had an early boost from sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic, who suited up for his second game of the season. Bogdanovic made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to give the Hawks some early breathing room.

Bogdanovic, still playing his way into shape after battling a knee injury, seemed to run out of power as the Thunder pounded the Hawks all over the floor.

Hawks coach Nate McMillan said Bogdanovic, who is still on a minutes restriction, seemed to get fatigued toward the end of his last stint of the night.

“It’s gonna take more than two games to get his legs and, you know, we saw what he can do when he has fresh legs, and I thought he started to have a little heavy legs,” McMillan said. “In the second half, a couple of his shots (were) short, but that will come.”

Bogdanovic finished 6 of 13 from the floor and 5 of 10 from long range, scoring 17 points in his second outing.

ExploreHawks broadcaster Bob Rathbun has medical emergency during pregame broadcast

2. The Hawks did a good job keeping Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off the free-throw line in the first half. They didn’t allow Gilgeous-Alexander, who shoots 92.4% from the charity stripe, to get to the line in the first half.

But as the 24-year-old guard and his teammates broke down the Hawks’ defense in the second half, he used the contact to his advantage. Gilgeous-Alexander made all 15 of his free-throw attempts in the second half and finished with a game-high 35 points.

“We (weren’t) looking ahead,” McMillan said when asked if the upcoming road trip affected them. “We knew that this was going to be a tough challenge, their style of play, their ball movement. Shai did a good job of attacking. And, you know, at the end, we sent them to the free-throw line.”

3. Despite the last 24 hours, the Hawks had a solid performance from their backcourt tandem of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

Murray got off to a hot start, scoring 10 of his 24 points in the first quarter. He finished making 10 of 21 from the floor and sank three 3-pointers. He has shot 50% or better from long range in three of his last six games and is shooting 44.1% from distance in his last five games.

While Murray started hot and cooled off in the second half, Young began the night slowly. He made 1 of 6 attempts from the floor in the first half but put up 13 points in the third quarter as the Hawks tried to stave off the Thunder.

Young scored 23 points and had 10 assists for his 12th double-double of the season.

ExploreTrae Young on absence from Friday’s game: ‘Sometimes we don’t always agree’

4. The Hawks held the tempo of the game up until the final three minutes of the third quarter. But turnovers killed any momentum that they built.

The Hawks had 18 turnovers, giving up 19 points to the Thunder.

“You just can’t have 18 turnovers against a team like this,” McMillan said. “They convert that. The way they play, (they) got five guys out on the floor that can handle the ball, can shoot the ball, can pass the ball. So they convert turnovers. They turn those into points, and you make a mistake like that, it’s going to cost you.”

The Thunder rank second in the league in points off turnovers, scoring on average 20.5 points per game. In the last five games, they have been the best team at taking advantage of opponents’ mistakes. They’ve scored on average 24.4 points off turnovers in their last five matchups.

5. On top of turnovers, the Hawks struggled to limit the Thunder on the boards. The Thunder went 7 of 13 on second-chance opportunities and scored 17 points.

The Thunder sit outside the top 10 in scoring second-chance points. But through their last five games, they rank seventh in the NBA, and they took advantage of the Hawks’ lackadaisical approach on the boards.

Thunder 121, Hawks 114

Stat to know

Murray has at least two steals in 14 of Atlanta’s 24 games this season. He ranks fourth in steals per game (1.8), as well as deflections (3.7).


“Overall has been especially in the second half. I think like I just said we have to come with that same urgency. We have to tell ourselves that this is another game starting, and we need to have that because that’s gonna be important.” – Clint Capela, on if the Hawks have a tendency to overlook opponents

Up next

The Hawks head to New York for a game against the Knicks on Wednesday and the Nets on Friday.