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Hawks turn on their defense, step up in Young’s absence in crucial Game 4 victory over Bucks



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Already leading by 10 points when the injury occurred, the Hawks blew the game open with a 12-0 run – after Holiday’s layup initially cut the lead to eight points – to put this game beyond the Bucks. “You just know your minutes are going to go up, the time of the games is going to be different. Other than that, you just get ready to play a basketball game. We’ve got to be pros. I know it’s cliche to hear but one guy goes down, another guy’s got to step up. Coach told me that I was going to start in his place about an hour before the game, so for me it was just to lock in and know I was going to play more minutes than usual.”

Speaking of Williams, he was excellent in that starting role, scoring those 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field, 2-of-3 from three to go along with eight assists. “The ball moves side to side. You want everybody to find a rhythm. We don’t need people in transition, pulling up from the logo and offensively going one-on-one the way Trae can. It’s really not anybody’s game on this team. So we didn’t need people to play like that. That message was well received. Like I said, you start the game off and all five guys score before they have to call a timeout. That really set the tone for the rest of the game, and it wasn’t something that we got away from.”

Of course, with Young being able to ignite and score like he can, the Hawks needed more than just Williams to step up in his absence. “Honestly, in a lot of ways it takes our team to another level when he’s on, when he’s making shots, just the ability to score the ball, to make threes in big spots. It’s something that we definitely missed for a couple games, and he’s feeling better as each game gets going. He’s such a tough guy. We need him. The boost from him tonight was great.”

Bogdanovic himself has refused to allow his knee to be an excuse and even after a strong Game 4, that continues to be the case, wishing to deflect any questions about his knee, stating instead his happiness of winning the game.

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