ATLANTA — In a game with 14 lead changes, the Atlanta Hawks did just enough to walk away with a 116-111 win against the Indiana Pacers Saturday night at State Farm Arena.
Trae Young carried the load for the Hawks as he scored 41 points and had eight assists, teammate Kevin Huerter contributed with 26 points, his highest this season. Alex Len added 16 points and Bruno Fernando also scored 10 points.
Atlanta now improves to a 8-26 record and will face the Denver Nuggets Monday night, as the team continues its three-game homestand.
Here are the three main takeaways from the game against the Pacers:
Trae Young is electrifying
The second-year point guard finished the night with 41 points, but he scored an amazing 30 points in the first half.
Young became the first Hawks player to score 30 points in the first half since Stephen Jackson back in March of 2004 against Dallas. Also, the last Hawks player to score 30 points in one half was Joe Johnson in 2008 against the New Jersey Nets.
The former Sooner point guard also started the game by going 9-for-9 from the field and was 5-for-5 from the 3 point line.
Earlier in the week, the NBA also announced that Young currently leads the fan vote for guards for the 2020 All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference.
Vince Carter made history
When Carter entered the game in the first quarter, he became the first player in NBA history to play in four different decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s).
Carter began his NBA career with Toronto in 1998-99. When Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce was about his thoughts on such achievement, he said that he saw a picture on the internet where it showed that Carter was teammates with Hakeem Olajuwon and now with Young.
“I don’t know how to put into words that’s he’s played in four different decades,” Pierce said.
Defense wins games
The Hawks started the game well, so well that in fact the team held an early 22-point lead but as the game started to unfold, the lead started to disappear. It got to the point where the Pacers were able to climb back in the third quarter and eventually take the lead.
While it seemed that the Pacers would walk away with the win, Atlanta’s defense stepped up in the fourth quarter and held Indiana to only 16 points in the final quarter.
The Hawks had allowed 26, 34 and 35 points in the previous three quarters but when the game was on the line, the team pulled together on the defensive end. It also helped that Young was able to successfully shoot free-throws that at the end, marked the difference between a win and a loss.