At least for one night, Hawks de Atlanta looked like the team that amazingly advanced to the Final from Eastern Conference last year.
Bring Young recovered from a slow start to finish with 24 points and De’Andre Hunter led a surge that led the Hawks to a 132-103 drubbing of the Hornets de Charlotte on Wednesday, in the mini-tournament match “play-in” from the Eastern Conference.
“We are definitely now quite confidentHunter said. “But we have more work to do. We are still not satisfied”.
The Hawks, who finished ninth in the East after reaching the conference finals, will travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers Friday night.
The winner will claim the eighth spot in the standings in the East and will face the number one in that conference, the Heat de Miami in the opening round of playoffs.
The season is over for the Hornets, who were swamped in the 9th-10th playoff game for the second year in a row and haven’t made the playoffs since 2016.
All of Atlanta’s starters posted double-digit points, as well as Bogdan Bogdanovic from the bank. It was Hunter who had a big performance in the decisive third period, scoring 16 points after being limited to three in the first half.
“I think I’m an important part of this team,” Hunter said. “The fact that I’m aggressive, scoring and defending helps this team a lot.”
Hunter finished with 22 points, while Danilo Gallinari added 18 and Clint Capela 15. Kevin Huerter and Bogdanovic each had 13 points.
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