The Hawks (10-32) rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the Spurs 121-120 Friday night.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
1. Before Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer fell, rookie Cam Reddish’s arms went up in celebration. Reddish may have jumped the gun a little (Huerter’s a 40.1% 3-point shooter, so it makes sense), but no matter -- the ball swished and gave the Hawks a one-point lead with seven seconds to play. What was more surprising, though, was what came next, as the Hawks, who routinely struggle to get stops, denied a DeMar DeRozan fadeaway shot at the buzzer to hold on for the win. Huerter finished with 18 points. Overall, the Hawks limited the Spurs to 21 points (6-for-19, or 31.6%) in the fourth to come from behind for the win. “Our guys, gritty, tough,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “That’s a lot of growth out there tonight. The way they competed, the way they got down and came back. It was fully a team effort.” Before Huerter’s go-ahead bucket, Trae Young had scored 12 straight points to give the Hawks a chance to win it, including a floater that brought them within two, 120-118, with 48.2 seconds to go. Young led the Hawks with 31 points and nine assists.
2. Aside from this being the second time the Hawks have registered back-to-back wins this season (the first instance was the first two games of the season against Detroit and Orlando), this win was historic, if you count relatively recent history. The Hawks hadn’t won a game in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997, which is before many players on the team, including Reddish, Huerter and Young, were born. They had lost 21 straight away games to the Spurs until Friday’s win.
3. A rough third quarter looked like it had pretty much done the Hawks in, before their response in the fourth. Though the Hawks’ lead reached 13 points in the second quarter, the Spurs surged to close the first half and outscored the Hawks 30-9 to take an 88-76 lead at the 4:03 mark in the third quarter. Overall, the Hawks shot 8-for-22 (34.6%) to the Spurs’ 53.6% and were outscored 41-21, trailing by 11 going into the fourth. It took them until their final shot of the game to get the lead back. “We just couldn’t get it going in the third quarter,” Young said. “We knew they were going to make a run at some point in the second half, but didn’t know it was going to be at the start of the third. The way we battled and the way we kept fighting throughout the rest of the half, it was good to see.”
4. Reddish scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half to help rally the Hawks’ offense, and he made a handful of clutch plays in the fourth, with back-to-back 3’s by Reddish and Huerter narrowing the deficit to eight with 8:59 to play. Reddish sunk a career-high five 3-pointers and went 8-for-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range overall, adding four steals, four assists and five rebounds. “I was feeling great, especially in the second half,” Reddish said. “My teammates started finding me and stuff like that.”
5. On Thursday, the Hawks traded Allen Crabbe to Minnesota in exchange for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham, and it looks like it won’t be long before they suit up for Atlanta (Graham for the first time, Teague for his second stint). Pierce said pregame he expects they will be available to play when the Hawks face the Pistons Saturday at State Farm Arena.
By the Numbers
47.5% (what the Hawks shot from 3-point range despite averaging a league-last 32.3%)
“I always have faith, until the clock says zero. I always feel like we have a chance to win.” (Trae Young on the Hawks’ odds in the game)
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