The Hawks earned their third consecutive victory after a strong outing against the Heat on Monday. Atlanta topped Miami 121-113 despite a huge run from the Heat in the second half.

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks (22-22) had a fully healthy roster for the first time since Dec. 23, and they benefited from an aggressive Heat squad. Atlanta saw the return of Clint Capela on Monday, and the big man seemed to fit seamlessly back into the rotation.

With Capela back, the Hawks’ defense began on solid footing, much like it had in the previous two games. Capela has been an anchor for the Hawks defensively with his strong communication and his ability to protect the rim.

Capela finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks. It’s the fifth time this season he has had three or more blocks in a game.

In addition to Capela’s return, the Hawks recently have had strong defense all around, especially from guard Trae Young.

Young played physically Monday, getting into his matchup a number of times. He had four steals and has had multi-steal games.

“I’m glad you brought up the steals, man,” Young joked when asked about them. “I think that it’s important for me. I just want to be aggressive and be just fighting (for) my team on both ends now. With DJ (Dejounte Murray) being out there, it allows me to be a little bit more aggressive on the defensive end. Because when you foul, you don’t necessarily have somebody out there who can play-make for everybody else.

“Sometimes you think about it and don’t necessarily want to be in foul trouble. And so now with DJ here, I can be a little bit more aggressive on both ends, and it allows me to use my speed to my advantage on that end and get under people.”

Over the last three games, the Hawks rank fifth in the league in defensive rating and rank 13th this season.

2. Atlanta’s defense against the Raptors on Saturday helped the Hawks pick up their first wire-to-wire win this season. On Monday, they picked up another as their aggressive play kept them ahead of the Heat all game.

The Hawks now have tied their longest winning streak for the season at three, and they picked up their second consecutive wire-to-wire victory for the first time since March 30-31 last season (against the Thunder and the Cavaliers).

3. Despite the pressure from the Heat in the third quarter, the Hawks found a way to move the ball again in the fourth. The Hawks finished the game with six players scoring in double figures.

The Hawks had balanced scoring, with the team’s backcourt finding the right opportunities in mismatches. Young and Murray combined for 15 of the Hawks’ 27 assists after showing a mixture of patience and aggressiveness with getting into sets.

With the team finding the right feeds Monday, the Hawks did not settle for their usual shots. Young’s, Murray’s and De’Andre Hunter’s drives to the basket collapsed the Heat’s defense and opened more opportunities on the perimeter.

4. After the Hawks headed into the locker room at halftime with a 20-point lead, the Heat turned things up in the second half.

The Hawks stopped moving the ball side to side, and the Heat sequestered them to one side of the floor as they sent double teams to trap the Hawks along the sideline.

With Miami ratcheting up its defense in the third quarter, the Heat forced five turnovers, three of which happened in one minute, cutting the Hawks’ lead to 82-75 on a 3-pointer from Jimmy Butler. The Heat outscored the Hawks 30-21 in the third quarter.

5. Capela and rookie AJ Griffin gave the Hawks a big boost off the bench. Capela, Griffin and Bogdan Bogdanovic helped the Hawks’ second unit outscore the Heat’s bench 32-26.

Now with a fully healthy roster, the Hawks’ bench can continue to find a rhythm so the unit doesn’t suffer from the drop-offs in offensive production like it did when the season began.

Stat to know

4 – Trae Young swiped a season-best four steals in Monday’s game. It’s Young’s fifth career outing with at least four steals.


“Just, calm down. We just need to stay calm. Everybody’s emotions are gonna be high. Those last five minutes on both sides of the floor, what we needed to do was take a deep breath and get back to calm so that we could finish the game, and I thought I got to see.” – Nate McMillan on what he said to the team after Young’s technical foul

Up next

The Hawks head to Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Wednesday night.