The Hawks, on the second night of back-to-back games, defeated the Timberwolves 127-113 Monday at State Farm Arena.

Here are five observations:

1. It was a game of two halves. Minnesota scored 79 points in the first half, and only 34 in the second half. The difference? Hawks turned up the effort on the defensive end.

They rotated out, communicated and made the Timberwolves work for each of their baskets. After allowing 20 three-pointers in the first half, the visitors only had four in the second half.

At halftime, coach Quin Snyder said the team talked about getting stops and getting out in transition.

“You know, the NBA is, is funny, and I think more than being down we were really just struggling to get stops. And that’s what we talked about,” Snyder said. “Let’s get some stops and be able to get out in transition.”

2. Dejounte Murray’s shooting was on point as the team erased a 19-point halftime deficit. In fact, he was perfect from the floor and the free-throw line during the third quarter.

He outscored the Timberwolves 22-19 in the period in typical Murray fashion - carving up and weaving through the defense for his signature midrange jumpers. He ended the night tying his career-high with 41 points. He also had seven rebounds and five assists.

“DJ played a hell of a game,” guard Trae Young, who finished with 24 points and eight assists, said. “DJ is the reason why we won tonight. That third quarter, the way he finished that quarter, I usually finish quarters but there’s no reason I told (Coach) there’s no reason for me to go back in the game. DJ is hot and it was good to see him. We needed him to have it for us to come back and win. And I was just so happy we got the win.”

3. At the outset, the defense looked far different than it did 24 hours before in Sunday’s 127-110 win in Milwaukee. They struggled to stop the Timberwolves from long range - guard Anthony Edwards, who ended the night with 31 points, went 4-of-5 from 3 in the first quarter and Naz Reid was 3-for-3 from distance in just six minutes.

4. The Timberwolves’ success from long range got them into a rhythm early. When their shooting from distance cooled, they turned their attention to attacking the paint.

They opened the second quarter feeding big man Rudy Gobert, who scored four of the first eight points in the frame. Then Karl-Anthony Towns looked to punish the basket before the rest of the team got in on the action.

The Timberwolves outscored the Hawks 24-6 in the paint in the second quarter to open a 79-60 lead at halftime.

5. The Hawks continued their trend of solid first-half scoring, but the effort Monday was overshadowed by Minnesota’s ridiculous shooting (71 percent from the field). They hit six 3s in the first quarter and actually finished with 60 or more points in the first half for the third straight game.

Stat to Know

Murray’s perfect third quarter made him the first Hawk in the play-by-play era to finish a quarter with 20-or-more points on 1.000 FG%, 1.000 3FG% and 1.000 FT%.


“Stay hungry, not content, not comfortable, it’s just staying hungry wanting more.” -- Murray on carrying over the last two wins moving forward.

Up Next

The Hawks host the Wizards on Wednesday before playing their next three on the road.