Young’s scoring surge sends Hawks past Timberwolves, 134-122

Jan 19, 2022, 5:17 AM | Updated: 8:25 pm
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) shoots over Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (1...

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) shoots over Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

(AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

ATLANTA (AP) — After leading Atlanta to back-to-back wins for the first time in almost two months, Trae Young wasn’t ready to say the Hawks have regained last season’s winning formula.

It’s far too early to talk about a return to the Eastern Conference finals for the Hawks, who are still only 12th in the conference and on the outside of the playoff standings.

Young scored 23 of his 37 points in the third quarter, sparking Atlanta’s comeback, and the Hawks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 134-122 on Wednesday night.

“I think we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and take it one game at a time and not look too far ahead,” Young said, adding the Hawks’ focus should be to “try to climb back into this thing.”

Led by Young, who had 14 assists, the Hawks opened the second half with a 20-2 run after the Timberwolves led 73-61 at halftime.

“That’s the way you hope your team responds to a challenge,” said Hawks coach Nate McMillan.

Minnesota’s biggest lead was 16 points in the first quarter.

De’Andre Hunter had 22 points for Atlanta. D’Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 31 points.

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards drew two technical fouls and was ejected with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Edwards thought he had been fouled on a drive to the basket and continued to argue his case following his first technical.

The loss of Edwards, who had 20 points, left Minnesota without two starters. Guard Patrick Beverley left the game with a right ankle sprain in the first period. Following the game, coach Chris Finch said he had no update on the severity of the injury.

Edwards’ ejection was costly and reflected the Timberwolves’ frustration in blowing the halftime advantage. Finch said Edwards apologized to his teammates.

“I was pretty frustrated,” Finch said of the technical foul. “… And I was also frustrated with the way we were playing overall. I kept saying we’ve got enough game left to get back into it but we never could get enough stops.”

Atlanta outscored Minnesota 45-20 in the third, setting a season high for points in any quarter.

Young opened the second half by making two 3-pointers. The 20-2 run was capped by another 3 from Young, leaving Atlanta with an 81-75 lead. Young was scoreless in the opening period and had only seven points in the first half before his scoring surge.

The Timberwolves (22-23) fell below .500.

After snapping a string of 10 consecutive home losses with a 121-113 win over defending NBA champion Milwaukee on Monday night, the Hawks (19-25) have won back-to-back games for the first time since a seven-game winning streak from Nov. 14-26.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out with 1:01 remaining. … Edwards’ first career ejection came in the homecoming for the Atlanta native and former University of Georgia standout. … Assistant coach Pablo Prigioni returned after missing six games due to health and safety protocols.

Hawks: C Clint Capela (left ankle sprain) participated in conditioning drills, including running, on Wednesday before missing his sixth consecutive game. Capela hasn’t participated in live team drills. Onyeka Okongwu had 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots. … G Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) missed his third straight game.

TECH FOR KAT

There were more frustrations for the Timberwolves to close the third quarter when an apparent basket by Towns was nullified. Towns was called for a flagrant foul and a technical foul after extending his leg and hitting Okongwu on the shot.

“I’ve never seen it in NBA basketball,” Towns said when asked about the calls, which required a lengthy review by the officials.

Towns declined to say more about the play.

“Telling the truth in this league gets you fined, so no comment,” he said.

Finch said he was “not 100% clear” on the calls.

“I guess they went to the review to see if the shot was good and then were able to determine that it was a flagrant somehow,” Finch said. “I didn’t even know that was possible. And then the technical to boot.”

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Return home to play Brooklyn on Sunday night. The Nets took a 110-105 home win over Minnesota on Dec. 3.

Hawks: Continue four-game homestand on Friday night when they play Miami for the third time in 10 days. The Heat took a 124-118 home win over Atlanta on Friday night and a 115-91 win at Atlanta on Jan. 12.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Jordan Spieth reacts to his putt on the 15th green during their foursomes match at the Presidents C...
Associated Press

For International team, tie feels like win in Presidents Cup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The International team battled to a draw Saturday morning in the Presidents Cup. The way this week has gone, it almost felt like a win. The Korean duo of Tom Kim and K.H. Lee won two late holes and closed out Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns on the 17th […]
1 day ago
Team Europe's Matteo Berrettini, of Italy, celebrates with Roger Federer of Switzerland, after winn...
Associated Press

Federer Laver Cup fill-in, Berrettini, beats Auger-Aliassime

LONDON (AP) — Filling in for the retired Roger Federer at the Laver Cup, 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini put Team Europe back in front by edging Team World’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (11), 4-6, 10-7 on Saturday. Federer closed his career at the team event founded by his management company on Friday night. The 20-time […]
1 day ago
FILE - Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde (23) is carted off the field during an NFL football game on ...
Associated Press

Agent: Bills S Micah Hyde to go on season-ending IR

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The agent for Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde announced Saturday that the team plans to place the starter on season-ending injured reserve because of a neck injury. Jack Bechta added in a message posted on Twitter that he expects Hyde to be healthy in returning for next season. Hyde already […]
1 day ago
FILE - Floyd Mayweather Jr. stands in the ring before an exhibition boxing match against Logan Paul...
Associated Press

Mayweather says Japanese fans will ‘see the old pretty boy’

TOKYO (AP) — The undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. says Japanese fans will be able to “see a glimpse of the old pretty boy” when he fights the Manny Pacquiao-trained Mikuru Asakura in a three-round exhibition on Sunday. The 45-year-old Mayweather told reporters on Saturday that he is in good condition for the clash with Asakura, […]
1 day ago
South Korea's Kang Leeseul looks to pass the ball past Bosnia and Herzegovina's Andela Delic during...
Associated Press

Kang helps South Korea wins 1st World Cup game in 12 years

SYDNEY (AP) — Leesuel Kang scored 37 points to help South Korea rout Bosnia and Herzegovina 99-66 on Saturday, giving the Asian country its first win in the women’s World Cup in 12 years. South Korea (1-2), which has played in 16 consecutive World Cups — tied with the U.S. for most ever — hadn’t […]
1 day ago
United States players are congratulated by China following their game at the women's Basketball Wor...
Associated Press

Wilson, Gray lead US to 77-63 win over China in World Cup

SYDNEY (AP) — A’ja Wilson admitted she was tired. The WNBA MVP had just gotten to Australia less than 24 hours ago, fresh off a championship and the U.S. was playing its toughest opponent of the World Cup. After a slow start, Wilson was clutch in the fourth quarter, finishing with 20 points to help […]
1 day ago
Young’s scoring surge sends Hawks past Timberwolves, 134-122