“Felt great, it really did, having another body, a fresh body and having a guy that has done a lot for us this season, so I wanted to get him back in rotation as soon as possible and allow him to get a rhythm,” said interim coach Nate McMillan, who put Collins back in the starting lineup. “He has much better rhythm with that first unit than he does with the second unit, so I wanted to get him out there quickly … We’re hoping that he’ll come out of this game feeling good and those minutes will increase next game.”
Four players finished with 23-plus points for the Hawks: Trae Young (34 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, just two turnovers); Clint Capela (25 points, 24 rebounds, three blocks, two steals); Bogdan Bogdanovic (23 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals); and Kevin Huerter (23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals).
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The Hawks led by as much as 20 in the first quarter before the Pacers woke up, and Atlanta scrapped to stay in the lead with back-to-back 3-pointers by Huerter helping the Hawks to a 66-57 lead at halftime. When the Pacers cut the lead to one, Huerter responded with yet another 3, and the Hawks ended up leading by four, 94-90, entering the fourth.
Indiana (26-30) persisted, and with 4:40 to play in the fourth quarter, the Pacers had chipped away at the Hawks’ lead, tying things up 107-107.
Young quickly assisted on a 3-pointer to Huerter and an alley-oop to Capela; a 3-pointer for Bogdanovic; and a layup for Capela. He then hit a 3-pointer of his own from the logo to put the game out of reach, 120-111, with 1:59 to play.
Young had 14 points and four assists in the fourth quarter alone.
“Just figuring out a way to find where we could score and just attack that mismatch,” Young said. “Just find ways to score and we got some stops and that was pretty much it.”
The Hawks have a back-to-back coming up next, hosting the Magic Tuesday before traveling Wednesday to New York.