The Atlanta Hawks entered Friday night’s tilt against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a healthier roster than the team has had in weeks. Using that newfound roster stability and a pair of elite-level individual performances, Lloyd Pierce’s team cruised to a 116-98 result for their third consecutive win.
Much of the opening period was uneven on both sides, with the Wolves hanging around as a result. The Hawks did get the last word in the first quarter, though, scoring the final seven points to claim a 25-19 edge.
The story of the first quarter was the play of Clint Capela, who built on his dominant effort on Wednesday with six points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the opening minutes.
Atlanta’s run continued as the second quarter opened, ballooning to 28-9 overall when combined with the first quarter. When the onslaught slowed, the Hawks held an 18-point lead and the bench was a significant part of the attack.
Atlanta led by as many as 23 before settling in with a 19-point halftime advantage. Capela tied his career high with six blocks prior to halftime, adding eight points and 15 rebounds. On the offensive side, Trae Young was the catalyst, scoring 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, 3-of-6 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
The Wolves did show a bit of fight early in the second half, cutting the margin to 13. From there, however, the Hawks regained full control, and it was Young at the forefront.
The All-Star guard scored 15 points in the third quarter alone, pushing through the 30-point mark and settling on 40 (!) points in only 27 minutes.
Trae gets to 3️⃣0️⃣ points early in the third quarter.— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) January 23, 2021
(John with the assist.) pic.twitter.com/wVT7rAOzzm
Through three quarters, the Hawks held a 92-67 advantage and, quite honestly, the Wolves never threatened. There was a bit of drama, however, as Capela was in pursuit of his first career triple-double.
The veteran center breezed well beyond his career-high in blocks and, eventually, he racked up ten rejections with the rest of the team cheering him on.
Block number 9 was worthy of Dikembe's ☝ . pic.twitter.com/CHpjRBhe4j— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) January 23, 2021
CLINT CAPELA BLOCKS TRIPLE DOUBLE— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) January 23, 2021
Ultimately, the closing minutes came and went without incident, and the Hawks finished off a decisive victory. Young and Capela were the dominant players on this evening, with Young scoring 43 points — including 8-of-12 from three-point range — and Capela putting up 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks. Elsewhere, Reddish (15 points, five rebounds) and Gallinari (10 points, four rebounds) performed well in their returns, and Atlanta took care of business against an inferior opponent on the road.
The Hawks will now travel from Minneapolis to Milwaukee for a Sunday evening match-up against the Bucks. The game will tip off at 8:00 pm ET.