With a dominant third quarter, the Hawks (19-25) polished off their second nice comeback win in a row, this one a 134-122 victory vs. the Timberwolves (22-23) Wednesday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks will continue their four-game homestand when they host the Heat Friday.

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Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. Trae Young and the Hawks completely exploded in the third quarter to assume control of the game. After trailing by as much as 16 in the first half, an insane 20-2 run to start the second half put them in front, 81-75. With seven points at halftime, Young put up 23 points in the third quarter alone, with the Hawks shooting 62.5% from the field in that period, adding six 3-pointers. They won the third 45-20. The Wolves stuck around, making it a six-point game with 1:08 to play in the fourth quarter, but Young made two free throws and polished off the win by nutmegging Jaylen Nowell and finishing with a layup to get the lead back up to 10. Young led the Hawks with 37 points, adding 14 assists for a double-double.

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The Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) dribbles through the legs of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jaylen Nowell (4) on the way to scoring a basket during the second half at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

The Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) dribbles through the legs of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jaylen Nowell (4) on the way to scoring a basket during the second half at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

caption arrowCaption
The Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) dribbles through the legs of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jaylen Nowell (4) on the way to scoring a basket during the second half at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

2. Although the scoring barrage helped, buckling down on defense was also key in the Hawks turning this game around. They gave up 49 points in the whole second half after allowing 42 in the first quarter alone.

“That’s the way you hope your team responds to a challenge,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “I think we were playing on our heels in that first half and really not applying any pressure to the basketball… They scored pretty much every way you can imagine that first half. I thought second half, we did a better job of challenging every catch, every dribble, and getting pressure and disrupting their rhythm. I thought that led to a good, probably our best third quarter, scoring 45, but it started on the defensive end of the floor.”

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Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. Entering this game, the Hawks wanted to build on the energy they showed in Monday’s comeback win vs. the Bucks, and despite a slow start Wednesday they have now won two games in a row for the first time since winning seven straight from Nov. 15-26. Chipping away at the standings, they sit at No. 12 and have a ways to go, but each win helps.

4. Second-year player Onyeka Okongwu just keeps going up against some of the best bigs in the league and matching up well. One game after effectively limiting Giannis Antetokounmpo, Okongwu played well against Karl-Anthony Towns (17 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four turnovers, six fouls in 34 minutes). In the second half, McMillan changed things up and had Okongwu play on Towns instead of playing off the ball and giving help, with John Collins (17 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks) as the help defender. Okongwu tallied a career-high five blocks, along with 17 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal, battling physically on defense with some nice finishes on offense.

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Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

“He’s so good, so good as far as a defender and then his finishing is great for us, too,” Young said of Okongwu. “I’m excited about what he can really show moving forward, too.”

D’Angelo Russell led the Timberwolves in scoring with 31 points, and Anthony Edwards tallied 20 points in his 23 minutes before getting ejected. The former Georgia star was tossed after two technical fouls. The first was for an overt gesture and the use of profanity directed toward an official. The second was for aggressively approaching the official while continuing his use of profanity.

5. Since returning from injury Jan. 12, De’Andre Hunter has produced how the Hawks need him to. Hunter finished with 22 points and five rebounds in Wednesday’s win and has averaged 17 points in his five games back.

Hawks 134, Timberwolves 122

Stat of the game: 20-2 (the run the Hawks made at the start of the third quarter to take control of the game)

Star of the game: Young (had 23 points in the third quarter to spark a comeback, finishing with 37 points and 14 rebounds)

Quotable: “We got into halftime and really just wanted to flip the narrative and bring some energy, so that’s what we did.” (Young on the Hawks’ comeback)

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