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Trae Young explodes in 127-117 win over 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night following a loss Tuesday night in Toronto against the Raptors. Both clubs would come into this game short-handed, as the Hawks were missing Jabari Parker (shoulder), Alex Len (hip), DeAndre’ Bembry (hand) and Bruno Fernando (calf) while the Sixers were without Al Horford (knee) and Josh Richardson (hamstring).

Given the noted absences, Damian Jones stepped into the starting lineup for Atlanta alongside John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Trae Young.

The teams got off to a hot start offensively, with the Sixers taking an 11-8 lead in the first 2:34.

The Hawks took a 14-13 lead inside the 7:30 mark in the first as the contest turning into a back-and-forth affair in the early going.

Young accounted for the first 30 (!!!) Atlanta points with nine points and nine assists in the first 9:03. The Hawks lead 30-23 with 2:30 left in the opening period.

The home team led 39-31 heading into the second, with Young having a monster first quarter, accounting for 36 of Atlanta’s 39 points. Ben Simmons was dominant in the early going for the Sixers, scoring at the rim seemingly at his own leisure.

Vince Carter got rolling in the second quarter, scoring 12 points off the bench and helping Atlanta maintain a somewhat comfortable lead for the bulk of the period. Philadelphia would threaten to catch all the way up on multiple occasions, but were ultimately unable to slow down the Hawks offense and trailed 74-67 at the break after a wild ending to the half that featured two-technical fouls and five Trae Young free throws in the last 0.5 seconds.

Young posted a ridiculous line of 29 points, 11 assists, three rebounds and two steals in the opening half, carrying the Hawks offense almost single handedly when he was on the floor. Simmons lead the 76ers with 18 points at the break, with Joel Embiid posting 12 points and seven rebounds.

Atlanta held their ground early in the third, as they led 85-75 with 6:52 remaining in the quarter.

A Huerter three made it 90-77 with 6:07 left in the third, the biggest lead of the night so far for the Hawks.

Philadelphia cut the margin back to six by the 2:40 mark in the third after Shake Milton’s fifth three-pointer of the game. Atlanta held a seven-point lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The Hawks used a 9-2 run overlapping from the third to push the lead back to 12 with 9:48 remaining.

The Atlanta lead reached 16 after a lob from Young to Jones with eight minutes left. Young also tied his career-high in assists (17) on the pass.

Cam Reddish hit a three-pointer to keep the lead at 14 with five minutes left, but the Sixers came roaring back with a 7-0 run to give them selves a chance, trailing 115-108 with 3:45 remaining.

Simmons cut it to 119-113 after nailing two free throws with 2:25 to go. The Hawks were able to hold off the Sixers from there, ultimately winning by a 10-point margin.

Young finished with 39 points, 18 assists (career-high) and six rebounds in the win. Young also compiled 13 or more assists for the fifth straight game.

Collins added 17 points and 20 rebounds, a season-high for rebounds and the second-highest mark of his career. Hunter had 15 points and four assists.

Simmons scored 31 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in the loss. Milton added 27 points, six assists and five rebounds. Embiid finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

The Hawks will be back in action Saturday night from Texas for a matchup with the Dallas Mavericks.