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Basketball

Bucks vs. Hawks rating, takeaways: Trae Younger erupts for 48 factors, leads Atlanta to Sport 1 win over Milwaukee

The Atlanta Hawks have been the shock crew of the playoffs and so they continued to present the opposition all they may deal with in Sport 1 of their Japanese Convention finals sequence towards the Milwaukee Bucks as Trae Younger recorded a brand new career-high with 48 factors to steer his crew to a 116-113 win.

Along with his 46 factors, Younger additionally registered 11 assists and 7 rebounds for Atlanta to assist them ice away the victory in Sport 1. Younger did not do all of it by himself although as John Collins turned in a spectacular efficiency of his personal, ending the sport with 23 factors and 15 rebounds. On the opposite aspect, Giannis Antetokounmpo set the tone for the Bucks, as he sometimes does, ending the sport with 34 factors, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Jrue Vacation was additionally implausible for Milwaukee as he contributed 33 factors, 10 assists and 5 rebounds to the Bucks’ effort however, ultimately, it wasn’t sufficient.

With the win, the Hawks take a 1-0 lead on this best-of-seven sequence. Sport 2 is scheduled for Friday night time at Fiserv Discussion board with the opening tip set for 8:30 p.m. ET. 

Listed below are three key takeaways from the sport:

1. Trae drops one other masterpiece

No participant has raised their inventory as a lot as Trae Younger throughout these playoffs. After one more masterpiece, he is making an actual argument that he is among the best offensive gamers within the league. Not solely can he rating in any respect three ranges, however his quickness and playmaking utterly warp opposing defenses. 

The Bucks actually felt that impact on Wednesday night time, as Younger carved them up for a career-high 48 factors, seven rebounds and 11 assists on 17-for-34 from the sphere. Due to Younger’s pick-and-roll risk, Milwaukee could not preserve Brook Lopez on the ground, which got here again to chew them huge time on the glass late within the fourth quarter. 

Together with his huge night time, Younger, joined Luka Doncic as the one different participant in NBA historical past to place up at the very least 45 factors and 10 assists in a playoff sport earlier than turning 23 years previous. He additionally tied LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki for the fourth-most factors in a convention finals sport. If that wasn’t sufficient, he scored or assisted on 72 of the Hawks’ 116 factors, which is essentially the most ever in a convention finals sport. 

At one level, he was so assured that after he utterly shook Jrue Vacation on the perimeter he stopped and paused for a very long time earlier than draining a 3-pointer. 

2. Offensive rebounds change the sport down the stretch

As nice as Trae Younger was on this sport, the Bucks nonetheless had a seven-point lead with 4 minutes to play and appeared to have seized management of the sport. They had been at house, all of the momentum was on their aspect and it felt like they might see out the sport from there. 

And maybe they need to have contemplating they received an preliminary cease on 5 of the Hawks’ remaining seven possessions down the stretch — not counting journeys the place the Bucks fouled deliberately. Sadly, for the Bucks, they could not get the requisite rebounds to shut out these possessions and ended up giving the sport away on the glass. 

The Hawks grabbed 5 offensive rebounds within the remaining 4 minutes, which led to 9 second-chance factors. That was the distinction as they outscored the Bucks 18-8 down the stretch to steal the win. Whereas the ultimate stats will present that offensive rebounds (12 for every crew) and second-chance factors (17-16 in favor of the Hawks) had been primarily even, the Hawks received them when it mattered most. 

A giant motive for that was the absence of Brook Lopez. The Bucks needed to take him off the ground and go small as a result of Younger was destroying them within the pick-and-roll. With out him on the market, the Hawks took benefit and crashed the boards laborious. 

3. Middleton has a tough night time

With simply 4.6 seconds remaining within the sport, the Bucks had the ball and an opportunity to tie and drive additional time. As per normal in these sorts of conditions, they went to Khris Middleton. He ended up getting a reasonably respectable look, however his 3-pointer got here up quick to finish the sport. 

Whereas that shot wasn’t the one motive the Bucks misplaced this sport, it was a becoming ending, as Middleton and the Bucks fell quick in disappointing style. Middleton submitted one in every of his worst video games of the postseason, ending with 15 factors on 6-for-23 from the sphere. That was the second-fewest factors in these playoffs and tied for the worst taking pictures efficiency. It was additionally simply the second time he didn’t make a 3-pointer, as he went 0-for-9. 

Middleton has give you clutch moments again and again over the previous few weeks and with out him, the Bucks would not nonetheless be enjoying. In addition they may not be enjoying for much longer if he does not flip issues round in Sport 2. This crew simply does not have sufficient constant scoring choices to cope with an off-night from Middleton — particularly if Lopez goes to be performed off the ground. 

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