For the first time in his young career, Hawks forward Jalen Johnson can say he notched a triple-double. The feat came in a 121-113 win over the Pistons on Wednesday night at State Farm Arena.

Here are five observations:

1. Johnson has flirted with a triple-double several times this season.

“It felt good to finally get one,” he said. “I think I got close a couple of times but to end up getting one, it was pretty cool.”

The Hawks forward crept up on the accomplishment quietly, dishing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds with over two quarters to play in the game. He eventually grabbed two more rebounds while also dishing out a ninth assist and hovered around there for several possessions.

But Johnson never sought out each of his stats.

2. Sitting at 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, he grabbed a rebound and looked poised to record the triple-double in one possession. But Johnson worked within the game’s flow and eventually the moment came around again.

With 9:27 to play, Johnson grabbed his 12th rebound of the game, got out in transition and quickly pushed the ball to the wing where he found Garrison Mathews wide open for a 3. Mathews hit the shot and the arena erupted.

In that moment, he became the first Hawks player to record a triple-double since Nov. 5, 2022, when Dejounte Murray did so against the Pelicans.

Johnson tied his career-high in points with 28. He grabbed 14 rebounds, just two shy of his career-best and surpassed his personal record in assists with 11.

“Tonight was a stellar game,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “You mentioned the assists, he was just to let the game come to him. There are a number of times he was just finding people.”

3. In addition to his dishes, Johnson helped the Hawks to an efficient night from the floor. He, along with De’Andre Hunter, shot over 65% overall, with the pair knocking down over 50% of their 3-point attempts.

Johnson shot a blazing 71.4% from the floor as he slammed down a few dunks in transition.

Hunter, who scored 26 points, had seven rebounds and four assists, made all but five of his 16 attempts and looked comfortable pulling up from midrange. For the fourth time in six games, he’s hit over 40% of his shots.

“He’s the guy that sometimes his attempts can fluctuate,” Snyder said of Hunter. “I just want him to be aggressive. And I think when he’s aggressive, he’s got a clear head. And, again, that’s where, you know, everybody sharing it puts guys in positions where there’s clarity on what their reads are.”

4. For the most part the Hawks had a solid defensive outing, holding the Pistons, other than Malachi Flynn, to 36% shooting from the floor.

But with the rest of the Pistons having a rough shooting night, it made Flynn’s efficiency all the more glaring. The Pistons guard scored 50 points, knocking down 18-of-25 shot attempts from the floor and looked unstoppable while doing it. Though the Hawks threw several defenders at him, he blew past them, hit shots of screens, pulled up to create space or just attacked the basket.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Flynn averaged just 4.6 points in 62 games.

Some of the players that have scored 50 or more points this season include Devin Booker (three times), Joel Embiid (three), Giannis Antetokounmpo (two), Jalen Brunson (two), Luka Dončić (two), Tyrese Maxey (two), Stephen Curry, Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns and now Flynn.

5. The Hawks have clinched a berth in the Play-In Tournament for the third straight year with Wednesday’s win over the Pistons. The team needed either a win or the Nets to lose to solidify their spot.

With their win, the Hawks have evened things up with Bulls. Both teams have six games left but the Bulls own the tiebreaker after going 2-1 against the Hawks in the regular season.

The Hawks’ remaining games include at the Mavericks, at the Nuggets, a home game versus the Heat and then the Hornets before finishing on the road at the Timberwolves and Pacers.

Stat to know

50 -- Malachi Flynn’s career-high 50 points tied for eighth-most in Pistons team history and was the third 50-point game off the bench in NBA history.


“Obviously, tip your hat to some of the plays that he made.” -- Hawks coach Quin Snyder on Flynn scoring 50.

Up next

The Hawks head to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Thursday night.