Last Friday night, Hawks coach Nate McMillan said the team had to make up ground once they returned home. Through two games, they have done just that. Tonight the Hawks cruised to a 129-111 win over division rival Orlando Magic. It was their second win in just over 24 hours.
Coming into this game, we knew the Magic had the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA. So it made sense when the Hawks were able to get anywhere they wanted on the court, resulting in the team shooting 55.3% from the field and 46.7% from deep.
It was a well-rounded team effort. Four Hawks players (Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic) scored 20+ points, with Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari in double figures.
The Hawks took advantage of the game in the second quarter and never looked back. By the end, tempers were flaring - specifically between Collins and Magic center Mo Bamba. Despite playing 30 minutes, Bamba was held to 5 points of 2-10 shooting. When it was all said and done, the Magic finished the game with 10 more personal fouls than the Hawks, and two technical fouls were extracurriculars.
It wasn't all bad for the young Magic roster. Cole Anthony had an impressive performance with 29 points on 11-19 shooting (4-8 from three). Wendell Carter Jr. knocked down 6-8 shots (3-3 from three) to finish with 15 points. It's just not a good time to be rebuilding in the Southeast Division.
After the game, McMillan said the last 24 hours served as a "gut check" for the team. "We could tell they were running with heavy legs, really in that first half. We really needed our bench. I thought our guys came through tonight, both the first and second unit."
McMillan heaped praise upon the anchor of the team. "Clint was great. He was really great. Last night, he had the challenge of guarding Giannis and trying to keep him in front." Later, McMillan added, "His [Capela] conditioning is getting much better, but he was solid the entire night."
Young shared McMillan's enthusiasm for Capela's play. "Clint was just aggressive. He was more focused around the rim. I think, instead of just trying to get it up quick, he was really focused on making his touches around the rim, and it really helped us tonight."
The Hawks improve to 6-9 on the season. Their next game is Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics with a halftime performance from Gunna. Stay tuned to AllHawks.com for breaking news and analysis for your Atlanta Hawks.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 23 PTS, 6 AST
John Collins - 23 PTS, 3 REB
Clint Capela - 20 PTS, 16 REB
Magic Stats Leaders
Franz Wagner - 19 PTS, 6 REB
Cole Anthony - 29 PTS, 11 REB
Terrence Ross - 19 PTS, 2 AST