Behind a career night from Trae Young, the Hawks (16-41) battled the Heat (35-20) and came away with a 129-124 win Thursday at State Farm Arena.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
1. With 50 points (12-25 FG, 8-15 from 3, 18-19 FT), Young set a new career high in scoring (he had previously scored 49 twice, once in a loss to Chicago his rookie season and once in a loss to the Pacers this season). Young’s eight 3’s also tied a career high, and he’s now averaging 30.1 points per game (good for second in the league, behind James Harden’s 35.3). In the fourth quarter, Young caught Andre Iguodala on a cross-over, his 3-pointer afterward tying the score at 97-97, and he scored 20 points in the fourth alone. “It felt great,” Young said. “That’s the main reason that we play, we play to win. For me to be able to have a good night like tonight and to also win, that’s the best part.”
2. In the final minute, rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish both came up with big plays that helped lift the Hawks to victory. With 55 seconds left, Hunter made a 3 to tie it at 124-124, and on the Heat’s ensuing possession, Reddish stole the ball from Goran Dragic, managing to avoid a foul and finishing with a go-ahead dunk. Reddish added 16 points and four rebounds and Hunter added 17 points and six rebounds. “Obviously Trae has a huge night, but De’Andre hits a big 3... Cam’s steal and play down the stretch was really what we’re missing, and what we’re looking forward to,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “Guys stepping up and making plays in unlikely areas and that was really a huge play for us at the right time.”
3. Contending with Miami center Bam Adebayo, fresh off his Skills Challenge win and first appearance in the All-Star game, was no easy task for the Hawks’ frontcourt. Adebayo (6-9, 255) led the Heat in scoring with a double-double of 28 points and a game-high 19 rebounds, adding seven assists. He was a force on the defensive end, as well, adding three steals and challenging Hawks bigs John Collins (12 points, seven rebounds) Dewayne Dedmon (0 points, eight rebounds) and Bruno Fernando (four points, four rebounds. Really, the only thing Adebayo didn’t do was make a 3 (going 0-for-1 from distance). “His bounce, his size, his energy,” Pierce said of what makes Adebayo so difficult to contain. “...I think he’s a tremendous young player. I think they’ve got a gem in him because of his versatility now, but he made it really difficult for us tonight.”
4. The Hawks still gave up too many offensive rebounds, with Adebayo the main culprit with five. In total, they were out-rebounded 51 (15 offensive) to 41 (six offensive), with Miami scoring 21 second-chance points to Atlanta’s 10.
5. This was the Hawks’ first game back from the All-Star Break. They had a clean injury report outside of Clint Capela (right calcaneus contusion/plantar fasciitis) and Skal Labissiere (left knee chondral injury), both of whom they recently acquired at the trade deadline, which helped them stay fresh late in the game. Both Capela and Labissiere said that they hoped to return after the trade deadline, but for now, the Hawks will have to manage without those two additions -- at practice Wednesday, Pierce said it will be weeks before either sees the court.
By the Numbers
16-for-35 (or 45.7%, what the Hawks shot from 3-point range, compared to the Heat’s 29.7%)
“It’s still winter in Atlanta.” (John Collins on Young’s performance)
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