Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young is fast becoming the most impressive player in this season’s NBA Playoffs and his 48 point, 11 assists and 7 rebound contribution played a vital part in the Hawks’ 116-113 upset win over the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of their Conference Finals series.
With center Clint Capela collecting 15 rebounds alongside 2 assists and 12 points, and John Collins landing 15 rebounds, an assist and 23 points, it was Young that shouldered the main burden of point scoring in yet another outstanding individual display in these NBA playoffs.
Game 2: Friday at 8:30pm/et on TNT pic.twitter.com/Ti4dr1er9a
— NBA (@NBA) June 24, 2021
Despite Young’s brilliance, the Bucks will be kicking themselves after a poor finish to the game saw them fail to score a single field goal in the final 2 minutes and 8 seconds of the contest, which allowed Atlanta to come back from a four-point deficit and claim the win.
The Hawks have now effectively wrestled home court advantage from Milwaukee, after ending the Bucks five-game winning streak at the Fiserv Forum in the playoffs.
Close Game Throughout
As has been the case in all three of the two Conference Finals series games so far, this was a close game throughout, with neither team opening up a lead that ever felt decisive.
The Bucks started well enough and led by five at half time in the game, but by the end of the third quarter, the Hawks had soared into the lead by three points.
It was a lead that they would hold onto as both teams scored 28 points in the final quarter, although the Bucks could and should have had more.
Leading by four points with just over two minutes to go, the Bucks inability to hit any field goals during the final stages of the game proved to be critical in deciding the outcome.
In total, they missed five shots, including two very poor 3-point attempts by Pat Connaughton and Khris Middleton, which proved key in the Hawks edging to a three-point win, the team’s third straight playoff series win on the road.
It was a particularly disappointing night for Middleton who missed all nine of his three point attempts and only hit six out of 23 field goal attempts.
“I’ve just got to be better,” he admitted following the defeat. “It’s as simple as that.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo top scored for the Bucks with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists, while Jrue Holiday hit 33 points, 4 rebounds and 10 assists, but it was those final two minutes that proved decisive for the Bucks in this defeat.
Hawks Continue To Defy The Betting Odds
The Hawks are now 6-2 in playoff games on the road this season and they continue to defy the odds, as they were a strong second-favorite to win this game with bookmakers.
It was also the first time that the Hawks had won a Conference Finals series game since the franchise moved to Atalanta in 1968. They last reached the game in 2015, but were beaten 4-0 by the Cleveland Cavaliers on that occasion.
Speaking about his performance and his team’s victory, the impressive Trae Young stated:
“It’s special. I wanted to achieve things like this when I was a rookie. Coming in as a rookie, you don’t know how hard it is until you’ve got to actually do it.”
Game two in the series takes place on Friday night, once again at the Fiserv Forum and the onus is very much on the Bucks to level the series before heading to Atlanta for the third and fourth games in the series.