The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Milwaukee Bucks for MLK Day as the NBA celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. across the country on Monday. The Hawks were looking to snap a five-game losing streak as they entered play on Monday losers of their last ten games on their home floor.
The Hawks pulled off the comeback win over the Bucks in this one, taking home the 121-114 win to snap their five-game losing streak as well as their 10-game home losing streak. Atlanta closed the game on a 32-15 run to take home the win, but let’s go through all of the action before we get to the end.
The Hawks got off to another rough start offensively in this one, scoring just 17 points in the opening quarter. Atlanta shot 7-of-22 (31.8%) from the floor and 2-of-13 from three in the quarter. Trae Young had seven points on three-of-five shooting to lead the Hawks in the first.
The Hawks woke up on offense in the second quarter, but were still outscored as the Bucks scored 36 points in the period to Atlanta’s 33. The Hawks trailed 62-50 at the break largely due to their lackluster performance on offense in the first quarter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (14) and Khris Middleton (15) combined for 29 first-half points. John Collins posted seven points and 11 rebounds in the first half for the Hawks. Young had 11 points and six assists at the break, with rookie Onyeka Okongwu adding eight points, five rebounds and two blocks as he started for the injured Clint Capela.
The Hawks cut the Bucks’ lead to five points early in the third with this three-pointer by De’Andre Hunter. This was an excellent pass from Young to set up the third-year forward.
Delon Wright hit a three to cut the lead to 80-77 with around two minutes remaining in the third, but Middleton answered with a three of his own on the ensuing Bucks possession. The Hawks trailed 88-83 heading to the fourth after a very solid third quarter. The Hawks outscored the Bucks 33-26 in the period, holding Milwaukee to 8-of-23 (34.8%) shooting from the floor.
The Hawks briefly cut the margin to just two, the closest they’d been since the opening moments, with a three from the Lou Williams early in the fourth. Milwaukee quickly answered that with a 9-0 run to push the lead back to double-digits. A few minutes later, Kevin Huerter cut it back to three with this triple inside the six-minute mark.
The Hawks took their first lead of the game on a three from Danilo Gallinari, who continues to play well of late.
GALLINARI TRIPLE— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 18, 2022
HAWKS HAVE THEIR FIRST LEAD OF THE GAME pic.twitter.com/Vws2syGq6A
Okongwu continued to make big plays defensively in the second half, making things tough for the Bucks around the basket.
Huerter gave the Hawks a three-point lead with a floater, then Young hit a three to make it a 20-5 run for the Hawks, who took a 111-105 lead inside the final two minutes. Okongwu hit a tough layup to push the lead back to five after a Bobby Portis three cut the margin back to just three for the Hawks.
Hunter slashed to the basket for two late, giving the Hawks a 115-109 lead with 26 seconds to go. This essentially sealed it, with the Hawks winning their first home game since Nov. 22 in the process.
Young finished with 30 points and 11 assists in the win, with Collins adding 16 points and 12 rebounds. Okongwu added 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 36 tough minutes. He was crucial in defending Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points in the loss, with Middleton adding 34 points. The Hawks will be back in action Wednesday when they will host the Minnesota Timberwolves.