The response from Korver and the Hawks, especially in the third quarter, earned postgame praise from the first-year coach.
Korver scored 24 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in a third-quarter stretch that gave Atlanta the lead, and the Hawks overcame Kevin Love’s 43 points to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-113 on Saturday night.
“I thought the guys responded,” Korver said. “Obviously, it was a great third quarter for us. Hopefully he doesn’t have to talk to us like that all the time. It worked tonight.”
Budenholzer said defense sparked Atlanta’s comeback from an 11-point deficit in the second period.
“I think the third quarter tonight was something we can reference going forward on how we want to play, particularly defensively, to hold them to 21 points in a quarter with the way they can score,” Budenholzer said.
Budenholzer said guard DeMarre Carroll, who had 19 points, “set a defensive tone for us and I think everybody else follows that.”
Even with the dominant third quarter, the Hawks had to hold on late.
A jam by Minnesota’s Corey Brewer with 2:55 remaining cut Atlanta’s lead to 107-104. Jeff Teague, who had 19 points, drove for a layup and Carroll’s free throws pushed the lead to seven points.
Love’s 3-pointer again trimmed the margin to three before Atlanta’s Gustavo Ayon banked in an unlikely scoop shot to thwart the comeback attempt.
Love, who grabbed 19 rebounds while playing with a sore left ankle, had 21 points in the final period and finished two points shy of his season high.
“I didn’t even know I had (43) to be honest,” Love said. “I think (Kevin Martin) told me after the game. I was just trying to get us back in the game by any means. My teammates set me up with a lot of good shots but, yeah, a loss right now, it’s just tough.”
Love said the Timberwolves missed center Nikola Pekovic, who sat out his third straight game with bursitis in his right ankle. Pekovic could have been especially important against the undersized Hawks.