The Atlanta Hawks kicked off their 2020-21 journey with a close-fought loss to the Orlando Magic in the team’s preseason opener on Friday evening. On Sunday, the same two teams took the floor at State Farm Arena in Atlanta’s final home game of the preseason. After 48 minutes, the Hawks picked up a 116-107 victory.
Atlanta’s offense was firing on (nearly) all cylinders in the first quarter, featuring effective play across the board. De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter flashed aggressiveness that carried over from the opener, and Danilo Gallinari was a standout in the early going.
Gallinari was crafty in his finishing, effective in his cutting and timely in his passing on the way to 10 points in the first period.
Gallo is out of control. Just hit a 3 too. pic.twitter.com/ye0r3GvPr0— zach hood (@Zhood_) December 13, 2020
As a team, the Hawks used a 20-6 run to take a double-digit lead midway through the period, and the defense was also playing quite well. Atlanta settled into a ten-point lead after 12 minutes, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Gallinari led the way, but Trae Young also added five points and a game-high five assists in the opening period.
After deploying only eight players in the first quarter, Atlanta expanded its rotation to ten players in the second quarter. The Hawks continued to flash positive elements, but a double-digit lead was trimmed to one late in the half. Atlanta did push the edge back to six by halftime, though, as the team put together a few quality offensive possessions and Young knocked down a pull-up three-pointer in the final seconds.
Gallo sets the table. Clint feasts pic.twitter.com/C7AObvvxOl— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 13, 2020
Coming out of the break, Atlanta was actually quite sluggish, and Orlando pounced a result. The Magic scored the first seven points of the third quarter but, once the Hawks restored order, they played quite well.
The headliner of the period was a 19-0 (!) run by the Hawks that included back-to-back three-pointers from Bogdan Bogdanovic to end the spurt. That put Atlanta in front by an 83-66 margin, and it was a team-wide barrage, ranging from Young to Solomon Hill.
Orlando did climb back within six at the end of the quarter, but the Hawks knocked down seven triples and had nine assists in the third overall. Some of that was spurred by quality defensive effort and, apart from the opening minute, there was plenty to be positive about for Atlanta.
The fourth quarter was a bit of a give-and-take, with Orlando cutting the lead from 17 down to one. However, Atlanta never relinquished the advantage, with Young playing quite well and enough shot-making to maintain distance.
The Hawks scored six straight points to send the lead back to double-digits in the final 3:30, and that was enough to achieve some level of comfort. Ultimately, Atlanta used its regular rotation all the way to the end, picking up the team’s first win of the preseason.
Young led the way with 21 points and seven assists, with Capela (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Collins (13 points, 11 rebounds) racking up double-doubles. Bogdanovic (18 points) led the reserves on this night, with Hunter (15 points, seven rebounds) and Gallinari (17 points, seven rebounds) making substantial contributions.
Atlanta will return to action on Thursday evening with a preseason road game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Hawks will not return to Atlanta for a game until the regular season home opener on Dec. 28.