The Hawks soundly beat a struggling Wizards team, 116-100, Friday night in Washington.
Next up, the Hawks (10-9) host the Lakers Monday at State Farm Arena.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
1. The Wizards’ league-worst record (3-12) doesn’t tell the full story — but their season has been messy so far, and this was a continuation of that (they were charged with six technical fouls, with both Robin Lopez and Russell Westbrook ejected after their second technical). Over the past few weeks, the Wizards have had several games postponed because they had too many players in health and safety protocols and not enough bodies to play, stemming from a slew of positive COVID-19 tests. For this game, they got Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner back, but Deni Avdija, Ish Smith and Troy Brown Jr. were still in protocols and unavailable to play. They looked like a frustrated team that hasn’t been able to play together much. The Hawks added three technical fouls of their own (two on Rajon Rondo, who was ejected, and one on John Collins).
2. With the Wizards out-of-whack, this game looked like it was over in the third quarter as the Hawks’ lead at one point stretched to 23. It seemed the Wizards might make it interesting when they cut the deficit to 10, 102-92, with about five minutes to play in the fourth, but that was the closest they came to a comeback as Trae Young scored 10 straight points for the Hawks to put the game out of reach. Young scored a game-high 41 points overall (10-18 field goals, 5-9 from 3, 16-17 free throws) and 18 points in the fourth quarter alone. “Thankful for Trae, his composure, and his ability to finish the game,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “As ugly as the game was, as wild as the game was, we got the win and Trae really closed us out down the stretch, when we needed it, to be what it should have been, just a solid win.” John Collins added 17 points and eight rebounds, and Clint Capela had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
3. Bradley Beal entered the game with a league-leading 35.4 points per game, and the Hawks knew they’d have to limit him to get the win. Beal had 13 points in the fourth quarter but the Hawks held him to 26, well under his average, and he went 0-for-8 from 3-point range. Kevin Huerter started on Beal, and Cam Reddish guarded him more as the game went on. Westbrook added 26 points, as well.
4. With as shorthanded as the Hawks have been, they had a few games where the bench hasn’t contributed much. Since they’ve gotten a few bodies back in Danilo Gallinari and Rondo, that was a different story in Friday’s win. The bench combined for 34 points, with Gallinari scoring 11, Rondo adding eight, Reddish contributing seven, rookie Onyeka Okongwu finishing with six and Solomon Hill scoring two.
5. De’Andre Hunter exited the game midway through the second quarter and was attended to by the training staff. Hunter did not return to the game and was suffering from right knee discomfort, according to the team. After the game, Pierce said that Hunter was sore and would be reviewed further Saturday.
Stat of the game
72 (the amount of free throws in a foul-heavy game, as the Hawks went 26-for-34 and the Wizards went 31-for-38)
Star of the game
Young (led the Hawks in scoring with a game-high 41 points)
“I believe I’m up there. I think for me, I don’t really worry about that too much. I let y’all decide that.” (Young, who is averaging 37.6 points per game over the past five games, when asked if he’s the best scoring point guard in the NBA right now)