‘We stayed together:’ Hawks buckle down to complete comeback in Charlotte

Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (left) shoots over Charlotte Hornets guard Brad Wanamaker during the second quarter Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Atlanta won 105-101 (Nell Redmond/AP)
Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (left) shoots over Charlotte Hornets guard Brad Wanamaker during the second quarter Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Atlanta won 105-101 (Nell Redmond/AP)

Credit: Nell Redmond

Credit: Nell Redmond

Thanks to scrappy defense and a burst of offense late in the fourth quarter, the Hawks (29-25) mounted a successful comeback in their 105-101 win over the Hornets Sunday in Charlotte (27-25).

Next up, the Hawks will play Toronto Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. This was one of the most brutal injury reports the Hawks have had all year.

They were missing seven players: Trae Young (left calf contusion), John Collins (left ankle sprain), Danilo Gallinari (right foot soreness), Tony Snell (right ankle sprain), Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery), De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness). Three of those guys — Young, Collins and Hunter — are regular starters when healthy.

However, Charlotte was shorthanded as well, missing LaMelo Ball (right wrist fracture), Gordon Hayward (right foot sprain) and Malik Monk (right ankle sprain), so it wasn’t insurmountable.

2. The Hawks led by as many as 17 in the first quarter and were up 52-45 at halftime, but the Hornets had 32 points in the third and made six 3′s in that period to take a 77-75 lead into the fourth. They got down by 10 until surging to a comeback win.

Off the bench, Lou Williams found his shot (scoring 10 points in the fourth) and got the offense going. Brandon Goodwin found Clint Capela for a few key buckets and that duo led the way on defense, with Capela deflecting a pass and Goodwin scrapping for a loose ball in the final minutes.

Two free throws by Bogdan Bogdanovic iced the game with 6.3 seconds left.

“I thought they got us a little rattled in that third quarter and we just kept our composure,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “We stayed together in the fourth quarter, we started to get stops defensively and offensively I thought we settled down, showed some poise and some calmness.”

3. Continuing his torrid 3-point shooting streak, Bogdanovic led the Hawks with a season-high 32 points (9-22 FG, 8-16 from 3-point range, 6-7 FT), to go with three assists, three rebounds and two steals. His eight 3-pointers are a career-high.

Over the past eight games, he is shooting 51.5% from 3-point range.

With so many scorers out with injuries, Bogdanovic’s performance gave the Hawks some firepower on offense.

“We had to lean on him probably a little more tonight because we were without a couple guys, Trae and Gallo and Tony,” McMillan said. “I thought he was aggressive … We tried to get him the ball and I thought he did a really good job of keeping us close down the stretch.”

Charlotte Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels (left) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela during the third quarter Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Nell Redmond/AP)
Charlotte Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels (left) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela during the third quarter Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Nell Redmond/AP)

Credit: Nell Redmond

Credit: Nell Redmond

4. Capela continues to be a vital presence for the Hawks on both offense and defense. Even though they were missing several players, Capela anchored them. For the fifth time this season, Capela had a double-double by halftime (10 points, 12 rebounds) and he finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, adding three assists in his 35th double-double of the season.

5. Filling in for Young is no easy task, but Goodwin excelled. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Four of those assists came in the fourth quarter, when the Hawks needed them most.

Stat of the game

4 (the Hawks have won six of their last seven and are now in sole possession of the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference standings)

Star of the game

Bogdanovic (led the Hawks in scoring with a season-high 32, adding eight 3′s)

Quotable

“Without him, I don’t think we win this game.” (McMillan on Goodwin’s performance filling in for Young)

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