Poet Laureate Lil Yachty once rapped about how cold it gets in Minnesota. He was right. Usually, the Hawks make it rain (second-highest 3PT% in the NBA), but tonight I saw flurries in the Target Center. That could also have been because it was a bone-chilling 7 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
The Hawks shot 25-49 (51%) from deep, breaking a franchise record for made three-pointers in a game. No surprise, Trae Young scored 29 points and dropped 11 dimes. Danilo Gallinari provided a spark off the bench with 20 points on 70% shooting.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 23 points while shooting 7-14 (50%) from three (a career-high). While the Hawks continue to battle injuries, they have been able to depend on the veteran journeyman not only to be competent but productive. 'TLC' picks up challenging defensive assignments and knows the assignment on offense.
Both big men, John Collins and Clint Capela, deserve praise for how well they played against Karl-Anthony Towns. Collins logged 13 points and 6 rebounds. Capela scored 9 points and grabbed 6 boards.
Despite their solid outing, the Hawks were narrowly outrebounded (50-49) and were outscored in the paint over two-to-one (42-20). Towns, who is playing at an MVP level this season, had 31 points, 16 assists in 41 minutes.
Like the Hawks, the Timberwolves shot high percentages tonight. Except for former Georgia Bulldog Anthony Edwards. 'Ant' tallied 20 points on 6-19 shooting. However, the Timberwolves main problem was their top-five ranked defense showing signs of breaking. By the end of the game, their defensive swagger was gone, as they allowed the Hawks anything they wanted on offense.
After the game, Hawks coach Nate McMillan linked the Hawks improved defense back to their hot shooting. "These guys are offensive-minded guys. When the ball goes in the hole for them, they tend to play different. They play harder."
Young credited the ball movement for exploiting the Timberwolves defense and setting up open teammates. "They were doing a lot of doubling, and forcing us to pass it out. We were just making the right reads, and taking what they were giving us. I think that was important for us to win tonight."
The Hawks (13-12) don't play again until Friday. They will need that rest as they host James Harden, Kevin Durant, and the Brooklyn Nets. Stay locked into Sports Illustrated's AllHawks.com for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 29 PTS, 11 AST
Timothe Luwawau-Cabarrot - 23 PTS, (7-14 3PT)
Danilo Gallinari - 20 PTS, (7-10 FG)
Timberwolves Stats Leaders
Karl-Anthony Towns - 31 PTS, 16 REB
Malik Beasley - 24 PTS, 5 REB
Anthony Edwards - 20 PTS, 7 REB