The Atlanta Hawks closed out a three-game home stand Saturday night when they hosted the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers presented some specific matchup problems that hurt the Hawks’ defense all night, but Atlanta was able to get it right back on the other end. Offense was not particularly difficult to come by for either team as both clubs were able to rack up outstanding offensive stats throughout the night. In the end, it was Trae Young’s night, as he hit a deep three and the game-winning floater to take down the Sixers, 129-127.
John Collins opened the scoring for Atlanta with a three-pointer from the top of the key.
now that's how you start a game pic.twitter.com/H23T1w5XWo— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 23, 2019
The pace was rampant early, with both teams reaching the ten-point mark less than three minutes into play.
Trae Young got into the mix early with a floater coming downhill in what was an active start for the rookie guard.
A patient approach from Trae. pic.twitter.com/ourn1C0Z4w— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 23, 2019
Young had seven points just 3:24 into play, with the floater, a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to go along with two early assists.
Trae Young crashes the glass. pic.twitter.com/VsdNnvoRks— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 23, 2019
The Hawks edged out to an early lead, going ahead 17-13 in the first four minutes of action.
The Sixers tied the score at 23 at the 4:14 mark in the opening period when Jimmy Butler got to the foul line, making both. Tobias Harris scored inside to give the Sixers the lead a few moments later, before Vince Carter put the home team back on top with a corner three.
The rest of the first was back-and-forth, with the teams trading baskets seemingly every possession until the Sixers edged out to a seven-point lead behind a 14-6 run to close the period. Young finished the first with nine for Atlanta, while Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons both scored nine to lead the way for Philadelphia early.
Embiid and Young were hot to start the second, with five points for each in the opening minutes. Young hit a three then scored inside moments later to keep the Hawks within five.
Taurean Prince was also active in the first half, with eight points and three assists midway through the second.
Taurean Prince and Dewayne Dedmon team up for a high-percentage basket. pic.twitter.com/jYkCWFq4W1— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
Collins found Prince in the corner for a wide open three-pointer to cut it back to two, then on the ensuing defensive possession, the Collins blocked Simmons from behind and Young was able to get the foul line (making both) to tie the score at 48.
J HN C LLINS gets defensive. pic.twitter.com/EYyRcDLlcS— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
Atlanta opened the second quarter on a 14-6 run that spanned over three and a half minutes.
Kevin Huerter squeezed in the lane then exploded for a two-hand jam to give the Hawks the lead again at 52-50.
Prince got inside for an and-one finish and the free throw after some solid defensive play to put the Hawks up 55-50 at the 6:50 mark in the second.
1) Taurean tips it away from Boban.— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
2) Collins blocks shot at rim.
3) Taurean throws in dunk + 1. pic.twitter.com/FSxOemAO0Q
A Dedmon three powered the Hawks to an 8-1 run and a nine-point lead, but back-to-back threes from Harris and Scott pulled the Sixers back within three, prompting a timeout from Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Young hit a three from the wing out of the timeout, giving the Hawks a six-point lead. Following a Butler score, Young hit a floater on the ensuing offensive possession for the Hawks giving him 21 points and six assists at the four-minute mark in the second.
Young picked up two more assists shortly after, giving him eight assists to go with four rebounds in 17 first-half minutes.
Justin Anderson followed his own miss inside to push the lead to nine with just 1:30 to play in the first half, matching the Hawks’ biggest lead of the evening, but Butler went on a personal 6-3 run to cut it back to six at the break.
Young finished the first half with 21 points (4-for-4 on two-pointers, 3-for-4 on threes), eight assists and four rebounds. Prince added 11 points of his own to go with three assists and two rebounds.
Butler scored 13 points to go along with three rebounds in the half. Embiid had 16 points to with his three rebounds, while Harris notched 11 points and seven rebounds.
Prince opened the second half up with a pair of three-pointers, getting him up to 17 points on the evening, and the Hawks up to an 80-74 lead just three-minutes into the second half.
Just let Taurean Prince shoot all the 3s. What a beautiful stroke. pic.twitter.com/Wn7c2VUhV3— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
The fast paced action produced its share of highlights.
Young continued his strong play, getting to the 20-point, 10-assist mark in his first 20 minutes on the court.
The home team stayed out in front, with the lead hanging in the five to nine range for a large chunk of the third quarter, until Alex Len got inside for an and-one to push the lead to 12 at the 4:29 mark.
The Sixers responded with a 10-0 run in less than a three-minute span to cut it back to two with less than a minute to play in the third.
Redick hit a three-pointer off a dribble handoff from Simmons to tie the score at 100 on the Sixers final possession of the quarter.
Dedmon opened the fourth with a three-pointer for Atlanta, putting them back on top at the final period for a moment until a 4-0 run from Philadelphia put them back out in front, 104-103.
The Hawks responded with a 5-0 run to get back out in front, 108-104 with 9:11 to play.
Kevin Huerter finds Dewayne Dedmon for a much-needed score in a tight game. pic.twitter.com/sqcOnWtcce— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
In what was a sloppy, wild stretch by both teams, the Hawks were able to maintain a slim lead into the final six minutes of play.
With the Hawks up two, a tough Bembry layup made it 115-111 with less than five to play.
Simmons got inside for a layup to cut it back to two at the four minute mark. Coming out of a timeout, Young was able to draw a foul (but split the free throws), leaving Atlanta up three with less than four minutes remaining.
A pair of Embiid free throws cut it back to one, then Butler got to the line moments later making a both free throws to put the Sixers up 119-118 with about 2:50 to play.
A couple of turnovers for Atlanta down the stretch left Philadelphia in position to take control in the final two minutes, with Simmons scoring to make it a three-point game with 2:05 left in regulation. Collins raced down the floor, drew a foul and hit both free throws to keep the Hawks within one point of the Sixers.
Embiid made a questionable decision to put the ball on the floor in traffic, resulting in a loose ball that was picked up by Huerter, who appropriately flushed a jam on Butler’s head to give Atlanta a one-point lead with 1:37 to play.
KEVIN HUERTER OUT ON THE LOOSE pic.twitter.com/UBLL91LilF— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
In what was a crazy sequence, Simmons poked the ball away from Young in transition, leading to a foul and a pair of Butler free throws to give the Sixers the lead.
Young fired back with a triple to put Atlanta up two, then Embiid got to the basket to tie the game at 125-125 on the next Sixers possession.
Butler got to the line again with 39.9 to play, making both and giving Philadelphia a 127-125 lead going into a Hawks timeout.
Prince got to the rim for a layup to tie the game at 127 after Embiid forced Young to give up the ball.
Atlanta forced a 24 second violation on the ensuing defensive possession, giving them a chance to win with 2.4 seconds left in regulation. With a timeout left, the Hawks were able to advance the ball for a chance to win.
Trae Young hit a floater with 0.1 remaining, giving the Hawks a two-point lead and effectively sealing the victory.
What more can you say about Trae Young?— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2019
(How about Rookie of the Year?) pic.twitter.com/G1OsKtcN1X
Young finished with 32 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, in what was another fantastic offensive display despite a handful of turnovers. Prince added 23, five boards, and three dimes in what what a phenomenal offensive performance for the starting unit.
Embiid led Philadelphia with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Butler added 25 points, six rebounds and four assists, including a number of clutch baskets, but it was Butler who couldn’t stop Young on the game’s final possession.