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Hot shooting helps Hawks take down Trail Blazers

Sarah K. Spencer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Basketball

A great 3-point shooting night helped the Hawks (36-30) pick up a quality win against the Trail Blazers, 123-114, Monday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks will host the Suns Wednesday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. With where the Hawks stand in the Eastern Conference, every game counts down the final stretch of the regular season. They’ve at least secured a spot in the play-in tournament, but want to finish in the Top 6 so they can avoid it, and hopefully not slide out of the Top 5 spot they occupy now. Atlanta entered Monday tied with Miami at No. 5, though they own the tiebreaker, but with the win it occupies the No. 5 spot on its own.

2. Led by Danilo Gallinari, an excellent stretch from the Hawks’ second unit at the start of the fourth quarter put the team in an ideal position to get the win. The group, consisting of Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams, Solomon Hill and Onyeka Okongwu, inherited a seven-point lead and turned it into a 113-99 advantage with 8:36 left to play. Gallinari finished with a team-high 28 points, going 7-10 from 3-point range, adding eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Moving pieces and injuries have been a roadblock for the Hawks’ bench this season, but that stretch was encouraging, as was Gallinari’s performance. “It’s very important,” interim coach Nate McMillan said of Gallinari’s scoring pop. “You’ve got to have a first and second unit, and he’s a big part of how we play in that second unit, his ability to score. That combination of players, we really haven’t seen a lot with Lou and Kevin and Gallo and what we’re trying to do is get a rhythm with that group.”

3. Bogdan Bogdanovic continues to dominate from 3-point range, as the other Hawks player to make seven 3-pointers in Monday’s win. All of it came in the first half, so he nearly matched his career-high from 3-point range (eight) in the first two quarters, good for the second-highest scoring half of his career (23 points, second to the 24 he scored vs. the Pelicans Aug. 6 of 2020). He finished with 25 points (7-14 from 3 overall), three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Bogdanovic is on a career-best streak of 18 consecutive games with 10-plus points. He’s leading the East and is second in the league in 3-pointers made since April 1, with 76 over that span.

4. Tallying 32 assists, the Hawks finished just a few shy of their season-high (35 in a loss to the Pacers Feb. 13). Trae Young led the way with 11 assists (to go with 21 points for a double-double, though he did add six turnovers), and Huerter and Williams each added five assists off the bench.

5. Early in the second quarter, Carmelo Anthony moved into the Top 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (27,314), behind No. 9 Moses Malone with 27,409 and ahead of No. 11 Elvin Hayes with 27,313. He finished with 14 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

 

Stat of the game

48.8% (or 20-41, what the Hawks shot from 3-point range to keep them out in front)

Star of the game

Gallinari (came off the bench to hit seven 3-pointers and lead the Hawks in scoring with 28 points)

Quotable

“You’ve got to feel inside, something bothers you. You have to have that feeling that is bad, a bad feeling, so let’s go back to the right page, let’s play the right way, and that’s what’s it’s all about.” (Bogdanovic on the team rebounding from three straight losses on the road with back-to-back wins)

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