Trae Young, Hawks overcome Zach LaVine’s 50-point game

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young brings the ball lup during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Caption
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young brings the ball lup during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Credit: AP

The Hawks overcame a huge first half by Zach Lavine to beat the Bulls, 120-108, Friday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks (28-25) will play in Charlotte Sunday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. LaVine shredded the Hawks in the first half. He had 33 points in his first 15 minutes and scored 39 (13-for-19 on field goals, 7-for-9 from 3-point range, 6-for-6 on free throws) by halftime, helping the Bulls to a 66-53 lead. Missing several of their best defenders to injury; guys who could help them on the perimeter (including Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Kris Dunn) didn’t help the Hawks’ chances of containing LaVine. Although he finished with 50 points overall, the Hawks held him to 11 in the second half after making some adjustments at halftime. “He was on fire. ... Second half was just, we’re going to take the ball out of his hands and make some other guys make some plays,” interim coach Nate McMillan said.

2. In the second half, Trae Young put on a show. The Hawks turned the game around in the third quarter thanks in large part to Young, who had 17 points in that period to give the Hawks an 86-84 lead going into the fourth. The Hawks outscored the Bulls 33-18 in the third. Young finished with 42 points, nine assists and eight rebounds (24 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the second half) and led the way on offense. “I thought Trae did a really good job of being aggressive, attacking the basket, finishing, organizing the team going down the stretch and finishing this game,” McMillan said.

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, lays up a shot past Chicago Bulls' Thaddeus Young (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 9, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Caption
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, lays up a shot past Chicago Bulls' Thaddeus Young (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 9, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. The Hawks got down by seven early in the fourth but several clutch plays down the stretch helped them polish off the win, including stellar shooting from Danilo Gallinari and five assists from Young. They took the lead 102-101 off a 3-pointer from Gallinari with 5:49 to play, and Young had three key assists in about a minute (one to set up a dunk for center Clint Capela, one on another 3-pointer for Gallinari and then a layup for Capela) to open up a six-point lead, which the Hawks were able to build on further. Gallinari, who had missed Wednesday’s loss to the Grizzlies with left ankle soreness, finished with 20 points and 15 of that came in the fourth quarter, adding three 3′s in that period (he went 4-for-8 from 3-point range overall).

4. Getting Capela back was huge. Capela, who missed Wednesday’s game with left Achilles soreness, had his 34th double-double and 14th 20-point, 10-rebound performance with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He also scored eight of those points in the fourth quarter, when the Hawks needed it most, and had a key block on LaVine in the fourth, with the Hawks leading by six.

5. Unfortunately for the Hawks, who are already banged up, wing Tony Snell suffered a right ankle sprain and did not play in the fourth quarter. McMillan said Snell was injured after stepping on someone’s foot and would get an MRI Saturday. He added he hoped it wasn’t an injury that would keep Snell out too long.

Stat of the game

11 (what the Hawks limited Zach LaVine to in the second half, after he scored 39 and dominated in the first half)

Star of the game

Trae Young (had a team-high 42 points and helped the Hawks turn the game around in the third quarter)

Quotable

“He had it going in that first half and it took all of us to kind of slow him down more in that second, even though he ended up with 50, it looked like it could have been a lot more than that, obviously, so, glad the way we stepped up.” (Trae Young on battling Zach LaVine in the second half)