Trae Young was not afraid to go right at LeBron James in the Hawks’ 117-113 win over the Lakers.
Young, who recorded 22 points and 14 assists, found himself guarded by James throughout the night and showcased a fearless attitude.
While the rookie point guard didn’t shoot particularly well overall -- going 6-of-19 from the floor -- all three of his 2-point field goals came when he was matched up against LeBron.
His first bucket of the night came when he caught the Lakers star taking a bad angle to come out and guard him.
He later blew past LeBron in a half-court set to extend the Hawks lead to seven.
And with 1:28 remaining and Atlanta up five once again, the poised Rising Star got the matchup he liked in the pick-and-roll, slashed to the rim and made a clutch basket despite LeBron hacking him.
Oh, and he even nutmegged The King earlier on a pocket pass that ended in Omari Spellman taking free throws (he made 1 of 2).
“I try to live in big moments,” said Young, who is averaging 21.8 points and 8.8 assists during Atlanta’s last 10 games, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.
“It was definitely surreal the first time [we played the Lakers], but at the same time, I feel like I belong here. [LeBron’s] obviously done tremendous things, he’s one of the best players of all-time. But when we get on the court, I’m trying to compete. I’m trying to get a win.”
That fearless attitude -- mixed with his potent ability to run the pick-and-roll as seen above -- should continue to bode well for Young and the developing Hawks.
As for the Lakers, this is the latest in a season a James-led team has been under .500 since his first year in the league in 2003-04. Asked when the Lakers should start worrying about missing the playoffs, James said, "You either make it or you don't make it. That's when you worry about it."
LeBron’s triple-double record
Despite the loss (and some uninspired defense), James still poured in 28 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists. He’s the first player since Magic Johnson in 1990 to reach those totals in a Lakers uniform.
It was also the 78th triple-double of his career, which ties Wilt Chamberlain for fifth in NBA history.
LeBron’s 16 assists were the most by a Laker since Kobe Bryant dished a career-high 17 against the Cavaliers in 2015.
Speaking of LeBron and Kobe...
Hawks fans chanted "Kobe's better" at LeBron while he shot FTs pic.twitter.com/0tVWU3mK4b— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 13, 2019
Clearly no one is safe when the Lakers are at the line.
Embiid upset with refs
"This is not a rivalry... They always kick our [expletive].”
Those words from Joel Embiid came after Philadelphia’s season-opening loss to Boston in October, and while Tuesday’s game wasn’t a beatdown, the Kyrie-less Celtics were still too much for the loaded Sixers, winning 112-109.
This time, however, the Sixers center opted to excoriate the officials after the game.
“The referees [expletive] suck,” said Embiid, who can undoubtedly expect a fine on Wednesday.
The All-Star big man is likely referring to a no-call from the officials with 33.9 seconds left, when Embiid was challenged by Al Horford, who was credited with a block.
The Magic, winners of four straight, dismantled the Pelicans 118-88 in New Orleans for their biggest road victory in a decade.
Orlando came out on fire, while New Orleans was flat from the jump.
In the game’s first 10 minutes, Magic starters Evan Fournier had 14 points and Jonathan Isaac had 11.
The Pelicans had nine.
Even more disconcerting for New Orleans was the play of Davis, who said after the game it appeared “nobody was interested in playing.”
Does Davis fall in that category? The disgruntled star who requested a trade last month had one of the worst showings of his career. He didn’t make his first field goal -- which was also his only -- until there was 9:57 to go in the third quarter. That’s the latest he’s gone without buying his first basket since the 2013-14 season.
The Pelicans star forward also posted a 32.9 offensive rating, his lowest ever in a game in which he played at least 20 minutes, per StatMuse.
Tatum on Simmons
This past weekend Marcus Morris emphatically critiqued the Celtics’ unity, adding when he looks at teams around the league “guys are up on the bench, they’re jumping on the court… they’re enjoying their teammates’ success.”
Well, no question the Celtics bench enjoyed this throw down by Jayson Tatum.
One more look at the dunk in real speed.
C.J. Miles crossover
A quick ball-fake from C.J. Miles ended with Marco Belinelli taking a seat and even pulling out the recliner.