Teamwork makes the dream work. It might not have been the best shooting night for the Hawks, but a well-rounded team effort did the trick. It's their fourth straight win, and it came at the expense of the Charlotte Hornets, who were riding a five-game winning streak entering Saturday night.
The Hornets were determined to make someone, anyone not-named Trae Young, beat them. So the Hawks obliged, and six players scored 15+ points. The night's highlight is shared between Clint Capela's monster performance (20 points, 15 rebounds) and the Hawks role players excelling. Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish both had 17 points, with Danilo Gallinari chipping in 16 points.
But I'm afraid we're getting spoiled by the hyper-efficient play of John Collins. It's not normal for a player to produce at his levels every game. Collins posted 15 points and 8 rebounds on 70% shooting. The do-it-all forward deserves equal praise for what he brings each night.
For operating on little rest, the Hornets played at a frenetic pace. Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball kept flinging the ball up the court to the open man who was often Miles Bridges. The small forward has been enjoying a breakout season, and tonight was no exception as he notched a career-high 35 points. Ball finished with 15 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.
After the game, Hawks coach Nate McMillan praised the Hornets' small-ball defense. "I thought we had pretty good ball movement. They do a good job of switching defense. Our guards needed to be patient, space the floor and recognize the defense they were in." Once the team recognized what the Hornets were throwing at them, they were able to reverse the ball to the weak side and knock down open shots.
Young shared McMillan's respect for the Hornets. "They're not going to stop playing. Those guys, they play fast, and they get up a lot of shots. They had a lot more shots than we did tonight. We knew they weren't going to stop playing. They scrapped and fought their way back into it."
The floor general praised Reddish and Huerter, who both hit clutch shots to seal the game late in the fourth. Additionally, he showed love to the anchor of the team, Capela. "Clint is big time for us. What he does for us - the rebounding, playing hard. He's not going to get 20 and 18 every night, but he's going to get close to it, especially in rebounding. He plays so hard. He's so smart... I think he's a smart big man, one of the best in the game."
The Hawks (8-9) have Sunday off and host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as we keep you updated with breaking news and analysis for your Atlanta Hawks.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Clint Capela - 20 PTS, 15 REB
Trae Young - 19 PTS, 9 AST
Cam Reddish - 17 PTS, 6 REB
Kevin Huerter - 17 PTS, 4 AST
Hornets Stats Leaders
Miles Bridges - 35 PTS, 10 REB
LaMelo Ball - 15 PTS, 12 AST, 10 REB.
Caleb Martin - 14 PTS, 8 REB