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Hawks overcome fourth quarter deficit in 105-101 road win over Hornets

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Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks put together a spirited performance on Friday evening, coming back from a double-digit deficit to defeat the Chicago Bulls. From there, Nate McMillan’s team hopped on a (quick) flight to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Sunday afternoon, but the Hawks took the floor at Spectrum Center with a wildly shorthanded roster. By the time the game tipped off, Atlanta had only 10 available players, with Trae Young, John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, Tony Snell, Cam Reddish and Kris Dunn all unable to play due to injury. Still, the Hawks were able to scratch and claw their way to a victory, topping the Hornets by a final score of 105-101.

Atlanta started fast, scoring the first six points and holding the Hornets to just three points in the first five-plus minutes.

The Hawks eventually took a 24-7 lead and, with Charlotte missing 10 of their first 11 shots, the visitors took advantage. Brandon Goodwin, Kevin Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic played well at the outset, with Solomon Hill knocking down a pair of three-pointers.

Charlotte did awaken at some point, cutting the lead to only 13 at the end of the first quarter, but it was a very strong start for the Hawks. That included nine points from Goodwin in the opening period, and Atlanta knocked down six three-pointers.

The Hornets did make a dent in the second quarter, based heavily on a 9-1 run early in the period. That push came against Atlanta’s second unit, and the Hawks scored only one point for more than four minutes to start the quarter. The Hawks were able to hold the line, however, including Bogdanovic’s fourth three-pointer of the half.

Capela produced a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the first half, and the Hawks performed quite well defensively. The offense wasn’t electric, but Atlanta had the edge in perimeter shooting, and that was instrumental in giving the Hawks a seven-point lead at the halftime break.

Early in the second half, Bogdanovic continued his scalding-hot shooting. He converted a trio of three-pointers — his fifth, sixth and seventh of the game — to give the Hawks a 63-54 lead, and his seventh connection tied a career-best mark.

Atlanta pushed the lead up to 11 points, but Charlotte had a counter. The Hornets zoomed to a 15-3 run, reclaiming the lead, but Goodwin helped the Hawks to stabilize. He scored five quick points and continued his big day, reaching a season-high 17 points before the end of the third quarter.

The Hawks did enter the fourth quarter trailing 77-75, though, and that was a precarious position given that Atlanta led for the vast majority of three quarters. The visitors erased the small deficit quickly, though, when Onyeka Okongwu threw down a dunk to tie the game.

The Hornets then snatched control with an 11-2 run, putting the Hawks in a tough spot with a 92-82 deficit and only about seven minutes remaining. Atlanta chipped away, however, and Lou Williams scored eight straight Hawks points to help slash the lead to 97-94.

Despite an absolutely unbelievable dunk from Miles Bridges, the Hawks continued to charge, ultimately tying the game with 2:41 to play. That completed a 17-7 run after Atlanta fell behind by 10 points and, in crunch time, the Hawks made the plays necessary to escape with a road win. The final drama came when Charlotte’s Terry Rozier launched a three-pointer from the right corner but, when it caromed to the floor, Bogdanovic was fouled, made both free throws and put away the eventual four-point victory.

Bogdanovic led the way with 32 points, including a career-best eight three-pointers. Capela added 20 points and 15 rebounds, with Goodwin producing 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes. Williams finished with 13 points, including ten huge points in the closing period.

The Hawks will now travel to Tampa to complete a quick, two-game road trip with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

Stay tuned.