The Atlanta Hawks are one step closer to ending the narratives about their disappointing season by dismissing the Charlotte Hornets 132-103 to set up a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The Cavs lost Tuesday night to the Brooklyn Nets 115-107 after Kyrie Irving’s epic shooting performance.
The Hawks were in control for the entire game, but a 42-point third-quarter explosion basically put the game away to the point that questions were raised on why the starters were in the game so late in the final quarter.
The Hawks DOMINATE the Hornets, 132-103, to move on to a 2nd play-in game 💪 pic.twitter.com/Z6vn0T1q8W
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 14, 2022
Hawks Coach Nate McMillan answered that question jokingly after the game via ESPN.
“The coaches were yelling and screaming at me, ‘Get the guys out so that we could get them a rest in!’” McMillan said via ESPN. “But it’s time to play. It’s game time. We should be ready when we go to Cleveland.”
Trae Young is definitely ready for the Cleveland matchup. Even with a 3-13 shooting performance in the first half, the attention of the Hornets’ defense opened up opportunities for his teammates, particularly Clint Capela. Capela exposed Charlotte’s need for a center, putting a stat line of 15 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.
The no-look alley ❄️ pic.twitter.com/XTudyKwcio
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 13, 2022
After knocking down a second-quarter buzzer-beater just before the half, Ice Trae took advantage of Charlotte’s adjustments to his playmaking by knocking down open shots in the second half and finished with 24 points and 11 assists.
After stating that the Hawks needed to find motivation in the regular season to play like it was the playoffs, Young has again raised his level of play in big games. As the Knicks, Bucks, and Sixers saw last year, when he connects with his patented floaters and logo threes, it opens up lanes for his teammates that deflates defenses.
Trae draws four (4) defenders then drops a no-look dime 🥶 pic.twitter.com/lt9P8MePsz
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 14, 2022
The winner of the Hawks and Cavaliers collision course on Friday night will face the Eastern Conference’s top seed in the Miami Heat.