In his second season, 21-year-old Atlanta Haws point guard Trae Young continues to set the league on fire. After being named an All-Star reserve player earlier in the week, Young lived up to the honor, dropping 39 points, a career-high 18 assists, and 6 rebounds in a home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Young was an unstoppable offensive force in the first quarter, tallying 14 points and 10 assists in the opening quarter. Young’s shooting performance wasn’t especially efficient (9-22 FG, 3-9 3PT) and the point guard was able to nail 18 of 20 shots from the free throw line to account for half his points. Young also turned the ball over seven times, but with 18 assists, it’s not a horrible ratio.
Young was the most impactful player on the court, with a +17 rating on the court, easily the highest of either team. The Hawks offense was supported by a balanced attack, as starters John Collins (17 points, 20 rebounds,) Deandre Hunter (15 points,) Damian Jones (14 points, 7 rebounds,) and Kevin Huerter (12 points) all got involved.
For Philadelphia, missed chances at the free throw line and poor three-point shooting led to the 76ers 16th road loss of the season in 25 games. The 76ers shot 71.1% from the free throw line, a fine mark on most nights, but the Hawks connected on 86.5% of their 37 free throw shots. Joel Embiid was just 2-of-7 from the free throw line, but did nail 3-of-6 three-pointers.
Ben Simmons led the 76ers offensive charge with 31 points (10-15 FG, 11-13 FT) to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. But Philadelphia was outscored by 13 points when he was on the court, the worst mark of any player in the game.
The Hawks, who entered the game with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, earn their 5th win in their last ten games. The 76ers remain the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference, with a huge 9.5 game cushion between themselves and the 7th-seeded Orlando Magic. The 76ers are far from complacent to be where they are though, with expectations of being a Top 3 team in the East coming into the season.
The 76ers are just two games behind the 3rd/4th-seeded Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Philadelphia needs to find a way to carry their home success (22-2 record) to the road, where they’re 9-16.
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Header Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
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