Trae Young sets career-high in assists as Hawks top 76ers

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Per usual, it was the Trae Young show on Thursday night at State Farm Arena. But what has become commonplace still does not cease to amaze the nearly 20,000 in attendance and thousands more worldwide. Every time Young touches the floor; he sets a new record or career-best. This time, it was assists, as the #1 point guard in the Eastern Conference posted a career-high with 18 — which was just his second-most mind-boggling feat of the night.

In the first quarter, Young racked up 14 points and 10 assists (yes, you read that right; this is not a glitch), accounting for 95% of the Hawks offense. His scoring took over a little more in the second quarter, as he ended the half with 29 points to go along with his 11 assists. But despite the otherworldy effort, the Hawks only led by seven heading into the locker room, and that was actually a generous result. The referees handed Atlanta five points at the end of the half via a questionable foul on a halfcourt shot from Trae Young, followed by two technical fouls. But at 12-36, the Hawks will take any break they can get, and they made the most of that momentum.

After an offensive explosion in the first half, both teams tightened up the hatches in the second. They traded blows in the third quarter and only tallied 31 points combined in the final period. The Hawks were able to push their lead to double digits, and while the Sixers made a few runs, Atlanta was able to stay at arm’s length until the final buzzer. Young finished with 39 points and 18 assists, just shy of a coveted 40 and 20 showing, which he had a legitimate shot at reaching down the stretch.

John Collins was a battering ram all night, racking up 20 boards to go along with his 17 points. Both of the young wings – De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish – also both played their part, scoring 15 and 12 respectively. Reddish continues to look like a completely different player than he was in 2019. Kevin Huerter, Damian Jones, and Vince Carter also pitched in double-digit points in what Lloyd Pierce said was probably the best team win of the year.

Speaking of Pierce, he seems to have his former mentor’s number. The Hawks have won four of their last five against the 76ers and four of six since Pierce became head coach. In his postgame interview, John Collins made sure to give some of the credit to his coach for having the blueprint against Philadelphia.

The Hawks will hit the road for one game on Saturday in Dallas before coming back home to play the Celtics on Monday.


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