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Trae Young's Recent Play Results In Career Night
Story by KL Chouinard
Trae Young knows that he didn't get the win he wanted over the Rockets.
"Of course you want to do well in the game and help your team win," Young told reporters in Houston, "but at the end of the day, if we don't win, I don't feel good about it."
On the other hand, Young lit up the Toyota Center on his way to a career-high 36 points. He made 8 of his 12 attempts from three, repeatedly launching from well beyond the three-point line to pull Houston's defense further apart than they wanted to be stretched. Young was one of the primary reasons that the Hawks remained competitive in the 119-111 loss until the final moments.
Young made threes from 27, 30, 27, 31, 27, 29, 30, and 28 feet on the road against a Houston team that many expect will make a deep run in this year's playoffs just like they did a year ago.
Young did more than score. He also guarded future Hall of Famer Chris Paul for most of the night. He assisted on eight of his teammate's baskets, including an on-the-run, lefty hook pass that found John Collins open underneath the rim for a dunk.
In scoring 36 points, Young tied Jaren Jackson, Jr. for the most points scored in a game by a rookie this season. According to Hawks PR, Young also became the 10th rookie in NBA history to tally 36-or-more points and eight-or-more assists – and he was the first to do so since Portland's Damian Lillard did it in 2013.
Young has returned from a runner-up finish in the Skills Competition at All-Star Weekend in fine fashion. In the three games since the break, Young has averaged 29.7 points and 8.7 assists while shooting 51.7 percent from three. With three days left in February, Young nudged himself into contention for another Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Award.
There are five rookies in the East averaging more than 10 points per game in February. Young leads all East rookies in points, assists, and threes made, while also averaging a solid 3.9 rebounds per game as a point guard.
Beyond all the numbers, though, Young wants his production to lead to positive team results.
"Trae had a career-high night," Lloyd Pierce told reporters after the game, "and the first thing he said was, 'I wanted the win.' "
Trae Young and the Hawks didn't get a victory to take home last night. But if he and his team keep putting forth the same kind of effort on the court, they will be grabbing their fair share of wins. Young and the young Hawks are closer to being a competitive playoff team than most people seem to think.