With a backdrop of ten consecutive losses, the Atlanta Hawks faced a tall challenge on Monday evening with a road match-up against the Orlando Magic without Trae Young. After a 48-minute effort headlined by Brandon Goodwin and Alex Len, the Hawks picked up their first positive result since Dec. 8 with a 101-93 win.
The evening began in relatively favorably fashion for the Hawks, with an 8-3 opening run that included a deep three from Kevin Huerter. Orlando did respond with an 8-0 spurt of their own but, in general, Atlanta competed well and there were some highlight plays, including from DeAndre’ Bembry.
The look DeAndre' Bembry shoots after this dunk is priceless. Tell 'em, Dre'. pic.twitter.com/qrnoWWJvAd— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 31, 2019
The second quarter wasn’t as strong for the visiting team, with the Magic putting together an extended 20-6 run to begin the period. After some stabilization, Orlando reeled off another 9-0 run and, at that point, the Hawks appeared to be in significant peril with a 17-point deficit.
Fortunately, Goodwin enjoyed his best half as a member of the Hawks, scoring 12 points in nine minutes and helping to key a 9-2 spurt before halftime.
In general, the bench was a significant positive in the first half, with Goodwin, Bembry and Len providing firepower.
Early in the third quarter, the Hawks cut the margin to five and, after a push from the Magic, Goodwin returned with continued strong play.
His previous career-high mark was 5 points. Brandon Goodwin is up to 17 points midway through the third. pic.twitter.com/2dJT7zwZRx— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 31, 2019
After a back and forth stretch, the Hawks ended the third quarter in style, zooming to a 13-3 run that was punctuated by a bucket from Len to take the lead at the buzzer.
Early in the fourth quarter, Lloyd Pierce was apparently unhappy with Huerter, giving him an earful during a timeout. In response, Huerter put together a personal 7-0 run to give the Hawks an eight-point lead that they would never relinquish.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing from there, though, as Atlanta’s lead was trimmed to five points and seemingly in peril. On cue, Huerter and Goodwin teamed up for a highlight-worthy steal and Collins did the rest with a momentum-killing dunk that essentially secured the win for the Hawks.
Ultimately, it was a win driven by the defense, with the Hawks holding the Magic to just 42 percent shooting and a dismal 5 of 25 from three-point range. Orlando also obliged in missing 10 free throws, but Atlanta had a few individual showings that had to be highlighted.
Goodwin exploded for 22 points in 21 minutes, giving the Hawks a badly needed jolt in the absence of Young. He was flanked by Len, who scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Huerter added 19 points, headlined by his fourth quarter flourish.
Following Monday’s game in Orlando, the Hawks will have three days off to ring in the new year. Atlanta will return to action on Friday with a tough road game against the Boston Celtics.