It came down to the final seconds, but the Hawks (4-12) fell to the Raptors 119-116 Saturday at State Farm Arena.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. With 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Trae Young led the way, recording the second triple-double of his NBA career. His first came in his rookie season when he put up 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a loss to the Nets March 9. With his fourth 3-pointer of the game, Young reached the 200-mark — he’s the fastest in Hawks history to reach that mark (doing so in game 96 of his career) and is also the youngest Hawk to reach 200. “Just knowing the history of Hawks basketball, it’s very humbling to have those type of accolades,” Young said. Young also guarded Fred VanVleet for most of the game, holding him to 7 for 21 from the field (VanVleet finished with 25 points after making 9 of 9 free throws).
2. After struggling with slow starts, the Hawks actually had the lead coming out of the first quarter, 27-26, and worked their way to a 61-52 lead at halftime. Friday’s loss in Detroit featured a scoring drought of more than six minutes in the first quarter, so that was a step forward, on the second night of a back-to-back. “I was pleased with our guys from start to finish. ... There’s always ups and downs, but I didn’t think it was a lack of effort at all tonight at any point, really,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said.
3. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Pascal Siakam (who led the Raptors with 34 points) to open up the second half forced Pierce to call a timeout 46 seconds into the third quarter, but the Hawks responded, a steal and finish by Young giving them a 72-62 lead with 7:52 to go in the third. When the Raptors took the lead more than five minutes later, eight straight points from rookie De’Andre Hunter (who added 26 points) helped the Hawks get it back and take a 90-87 advantage into the fourth. Even when the Hawks were down by eight with about six minutes to go, they didn’t go quietly, a 3-pointer by Hunter cutting it to 116-113 with 25.8 seconds left in the fourth. They weren’t truly out of it until Young missed a 3-pointer from the logo at the final buzzer. “It sucks that obviously we lost,” Young said. “But if we play like that, it’s going to be tough to beat us. Obviously we’re down a couple guys, but the way we played tonight, if we can play (like) that, we can turn things around, and that’s just what we’ve got to do every night.”
4. After that bad loss in Detroit Friday, the Hawks held a team meeting. Pierce’s main message was about how the Hawks have to compete more in games -- and Saturday’s game had a completely different feel from start to finish. Given the loss (they’ve lost six in a row), it wasn’t a perfect response from the team, but the level of competition ticked up. “There was a lull where we couldn’t score in the fourth quarter, but it definitely wasn’t lack of effort and that was the message last night,” Pierce said. “How do we compete on a consistent and nightly basis. How do we compete every single possession. If we do that, everything else will kind of take care of itself, and that’s what we didn’t do last night, that’s what we struggled to do in the last five games. We did that in its entirety tonight.”
5. The Hawks got a combined seven rebounds from their three centers, with Damian Jones adding one, Alex Len adding two and Bruno Fernando adding four. Young led the team with his 10. The Raptors grabbed 42 rebounds (12 offensive) compared to the Hawks’ 38 rebounds (eight offensive). Not having John Collins hurts the Hawks’ cause on the boards, but they now rank 27th in the league in defensive rebounding (32.2 per game) and 19th in offensive rebounding (10.1 per game).
By the numbers
6 (the amount of 3’s De’Andre Hunter made on 10 attempts)
“We all had to look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves ‘Have we been competing?’ And we can’t say we have. And tonight, it wasn’t about making shots, it wasn’t about making plays on the offensive end, it was just about competing. And taking pride in guarding your man, making the right play.” (Trae Young on the Hawks making progress)
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