Here are three things we gleaned from the Hawks' 120-113 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta's eighth consecutive game of cracking the century mark in scoring. 1. This might have been the most action-packed game at Philips Arena all season ... and that's saying a lot The above comment goes deeper than the Hawks' blistering 38-point third quarter or the All-Star clash of Kevin Love vs. Paul Millsap (more on that later). From tipoff to the final horn, this was essentially a training video of how the NBA used to operate during the 1980s -- when teams prioritized up-tempo play, free-wheeling movement in half-court sets and hard cuts to the basket (off the ball). Plus, the Hawks and Timberwolves seemingly shot 65 percent -- or something like that -- on mid-range jumpers ... which is quite the rarity in today's NBA. The Hawks and Timberwolves set the tempo early on, rolling for 49 combined points in the first quarter and attacking the rim with gusto. In hindsight, that might have had something to do with the low-post absences of Al Horford (shoulder injury), Pero Antic (ankle) and Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic (ankle). Aside from Ronny Turiaf (five blocks), no other player registered more than one block on Saturday. Things really took off the in the third quarter. Trailing 54-48 at the break, Atlanta went on a 34-14 tear against Minnesota's beleaguered defense, connecting on 13 of 21 shots -- highlighted by Kyle Korver's 12 points and three triples. (In case you're wondering, Korver's NBA-record streak of consecutive games with at least one made three-pointer now sits at 115.) In the post-game media scrum, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer had a fascinating answer for whether he ever discourages his team from shooting so many outside shots. "I'm probably not very smart," said Budenholzer, with humorous modesty. "I don't believe (in discouraging long-range shooting) ... I think there's a system and a style (up tempo) that we want to play. "If we can get to the rim, we take the rim," Budenholzer continued. "If we can get open threes, we take the threes. It's just our style of taking what's given (to us). I just want our guys to be confident." That shooting hubris carried over to the fourth quarter, with the Hawks posting back-to-back periods of 30-plus points, with the second half culminating in 72 Atlanta points.
Hawks outlast Love, Wolves
Fox Sports | Feb 2