The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks faced off for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday evening, with both teams eyeing a 1-0 lead to start the series. The Hawks took home the win, 116-113 behind an amazing performance by Trae Young.
The first quarter wasn’t always pretty for Atlanta, but they were able to keep it close thanks to 12 points from Young and a late three-pointer from Lou Williams that cut the deficit to just three points.
The Bucks had 22 points in the paint in the first, which was of sign of things to come. Atlanta struggled to keep Milwaukee off the rim throughout the first half.
The Hawks overcame a lack of ability to stop Milwaukee near the rim in the first half, trailing by just five points at the half despite the Bucks scoring 34 of their first 38 points in the paint. Milwaukee shot 17-of-20 at the rim in the first two quarters, at staggering 85%.
The Bucks did struggle on jumpers before the break, shooting just 4-of-18 (22.2%) from deep in the first two quarters.
It should come as no surprise that Young kept his team in the contest, posting 25 points and four assists in the opening half. Despite his heroics, Atlanta trailed 59-54 at the break. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists at half. Milwaukee finished with a wild 42 points in the paint in the first half, but led by just five due to the poor shooting.
Young had a truly preposterous third quarter, notching 12 points and three assists on 5-of-10 shooting, including a couple of insane highlights. He helped the Hawks take the lead in the process, as they outscored the Bucks 34-26 in the quarter.
John Collins, who was obviously on the receiving end of that delivery off the glass, also had a massive third quarter. He posted 10 points and seven rebounds just in the third.
Young remained the star of the show, however, as he posted 37 points, seven assists and five rebounds through three, and the Hawks led 88-85 heading to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was played at a slow place to start out, with the Bucks and Hawks combining for just 21 points through the first 6:27 of play in the period. This left Atlanta with a 98-96 lead with 5:33 to play.
From there, Milwaukee went on a 9-0 run and led 105-98 with 3:53 to play. The Hawks responded with a 5-0 run of their own, capped by an and-one runner from Young before a Bucks timeout. 105, 103 Bucks lead with 3:26 to play in regulation.
From there, Young and Collins continued to carry the load for Atlanta, but it was Clint Capela who finally put them ahead with an offensive rebound and putback with 29.8 seconds to go.
Hawks lead 112-111, timeout Bucks.
From there, Atlanta was able to hold their tight lead with free throws, and pulled out the 116-113 win after Milwaukee failed to hit a three to tie in the closing moments.
Young finished with 48 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, becoming the first Hawks player to total 40+ points and 10+ assists in a playoff game.
48 points— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) June 24, 2021
and a highlight reel that will make the whole family blush. pic.twitter.com/LCP5CWmhlf
Collins had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and was enormous in the second half.
For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 12 rebound and nine assists, while Jrue Holiday had 33 points and 10 assists.
Game 2 is Friday evening.