Trae Young vs Luka Doncic Second Half
The duel resumed early in quarter number two, as Trae Young quickly went to work finding forward Taurean Prince on beautiful lob pass. Luka Doncic answered with a mid range jump shot. A few plays player Trae Young found Taurean Prince on a precision pass to the corner in transition for three.
Trae Young finally ended his field goal drought with 10:25 left in quarter number three. He smiled as he banked in a long three-point shot. Luka Doncic then found Dennis Smith Jr for his second assist of the quarter. Doncic returned the favor from earlier, stealing a Trae Young pass in the quarter as well.
Both of the star rookies both shot the ball poorly in the third quarter. Trae Young shot just 1-4. Luka Doncic made only 1-5. Doncic did add three free throws, the last two of which came when Trae Young fouled him on a post up attempt.
Trae Young finished the third quarter with three points, two rebounds, two assists, and two turnovers. Luka Doncic added five points, four rebounds, one assist, and two turnovers. Dallas saw the 26 point lead they built, evaporated down to seven points by the end of the third, leading 87-80.
The fourth quarter saw Trae Young get on the board first. He was fouled on a long shot and made all three free throws, giving the Atlanta Hawks their first lead at 96-95. Luka Doncic immediately came down and sank his third floater of the game to give Dallas the lead back.
With a little over four minutes remaining, Trae Young really showed his acumen in the clutch.
Guarded by Dennis Smith Jr, Trae Young came down court, did a couple of crossover dribbles, and executed a beautiful half spin to get by Smith. He floated the ball up and over forward Dwight Powell, and pulled the Hawks within one, 99-100.
The very next Hawks possession saw Trae Young picked up by Luka Doncic. He promptly blew by Doncic for a lay-up to give the Atlanta Hawks the lead. A couple of minutes later Trae found Kent Bazemore for dunk that put the Atlanta Hawks up by four.
Late in the fourth quarter, with Dennis Smith Jr. hobbled, the Mavericks decided to have Wesley Mathews defend Trae Young. That was a mistake, as Young used ball handling and quickness to draw three fouls. He made five of six free throws down the stretch, to ice the victory for Atlanta.
Doncic scored the final basket for Dallas on a drive with 12 seconds remaining.
Here are the stat lines for the two men:
Trae Young 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 turnovers, 3-12 field goals, 1-3 Threes, 10-13 free throws, 0 steals, 1 block, 4 fouls 26 minutes
Luka Doncic 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 7-18 field goals, 2-9 threes, 5-8 free throws, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 fouls in 34 mins
Most importantly Trae Young scored 12 fourth quarter points, and his Atlanta Hawks won the basketball game 110-104.
It wasn’t nearly the performance that we saw in Memphis, but Trae Young showed a lot of grit and clutch ability. I was impressed how he was able to shake off a bad start, endure foul trouble, and survive a poor shooting night to make a winning impact for his team.
Not only did Trae Young, who is not known for his ability to finish inside, make two big time driving baskets, he also was able to use his change of pace dribble, to draw foul after foul down the stretch.
Young showed that even when not making shotsnhe can contribute in many other ways. That will be extremely important for the Atlanta Hawks moving forward.