With a 101-93 win Monday in Orlando (14-19), the Hawks (7-27) snapped their 10-game losing streak.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
1. The Hawks got a huge game from two-way player Brandon Goodwin, who kept them in it through a rough second quarter, when they got down by as much as 18 points. Goodwin prevented it from getting out of hand — he was a plus-15 in the first half, with his last 3-pointer of the half cutting the Hawks’ deficit to 57-47. In the third quarter, another 3 by Goodwin pulled the Hawks within six, 63-57, at the 6:49 mark. He added 12 points in the first half and led the team in scoring (21 points) and assists (six), which was key with point guard Trae Young out with a right ankle sprain. “I think we’ve been waiting on Brandon,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He’s had some success down at the G-League level, which is why we called him up in the first place… He’s been shooting the ball well, we just needed to get him some minutes and get him to settle down and he came in and (that’s why) we have him as a two-way player.”
2. After being outscored 36-22 in the second quarter, the Hawks turned things around in the third, with a 3-pointer by Allen Crabbe (Goodwin with the assist) making it a one-point game, 71-70, with two minutes to go, and a dunk by Alex Len (another Goodwin assist) giving the Hawks a 74-72 lead going into the fourth quarter (Len went on to finish with 18 points and 12 rebounds). The Hawks have let many a lead slip away in the fourth this season, but not this time. When the Magic pulled within five points, the Hawks had a great sequence that ended with a key bucket after Kevin Huerter got a steal and managed to keep the ball inbounds, Goodwin found John Collins, who finished with a dunk to go up 94-87 with 2:04 to play. Going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth (14-for-17 overall) helped the Hawks close out the win. “Over the last 10 games we definitely feel there were games in there we kind of let get away from us,” Huerter said. “In the fourth quarter, we just tried to stay consistent defensively and limit them to one shot, and we hung on to win.”
3. After getting an earful from Pierce during a timeout, Huerter responded in a big way, scoring nine points in about two minutes to give the Hawks their biggest lead of the night, 90-78, with 7:12 left in the fourth. Huerter had been protesting after a no-call when he thought he was fouled, and didn’t get back on defense as fast as Pierce would have liked. But Huerter went on to finish with 19 points, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots, and his late surge helped bolster the lead. “When you’re arguing with an official, your defense is now 5-on-4 on the other end. ... That was all I was trying to say to him,” Pierce said. “I get it, you’re upset, but you can’t stop. He was playing well pretty much the entire game and we needed him to stay locked in and not worry about one call. Move on to the next play and he did that. He came out and he really got us going after that.”
4. Orlando entered Monday’s game with the league’s lowest-scoring offense (103.2 points per game) and the second-worst field-goal percentage (43%). Considering the Hawks were down two of their best offensive weapons in Young and Jabari Parker (right shoulder impingement) for the second straight game, this was a decent matchup for Atlanta, and the Hawks did enough defensively to come away with a win, holding the Magic to 36 points in the second half.
5. It’s not often you can say the Hawks won the rebounding battle, but that they did in Monday’s win, tallying 52 rebounds (41 defensive, 11 offensive) to the Magic’s 40 (29 defensive, 11 offensive). Len’s 12 rebounds were big, and Collins added 11 rebounds, to go with 10 points.
By the Numbers
14-for-24 (or 58.3%, what the Magic shot from the line)
“We love it. Just the confidence he played with. Everybody who’s in this league can do something like that. ... He came in right off the jump today and was playing defense. I can’t say it enough, he was the difference in the game.” (Huerter on Goodwin’s breakout game)
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