Having blown away the Charlotte Hornets of their first play-in sport on Wednesday, the Hawks’ victory over the Cavaliers noticed them clinch the eighth seed within the Japanese Convention playoffs and punch their ticket to face the top-seeded Miami Warmth on Sunday.
With six factors within the first half, Younger’s sluggish begin mirrored that of his group, who trailed 61-51 on the midway mark.
Jeered from the outset by a raucous Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse crowd, Younger had the final snicker after which some after exploding for 32 factors within the second half, his game-high 38-point haul complemented by 9 assists and three rebounds.
Bogdan Bogdanovic added 19 factors from the bench, whereas Lauri Markkanen led scoring for the Cavaliers with 26.
Solely the second participant in NBA historical past to guide the league in complete common season factors and assists, in addition to setting a brand new franchise report for 233 three-pointers, Younger’s play-in heroics proceed a stellar 12 months for the 23-year-old.
Requested in regards to the hostile reception he acquired, Younger smiled. “That is OK, you see what jersey I bought on,” he informed NBA TV Stay, lifting up his quantity 11 jersey.
“They tried loads of the F-U chants too … I feel they yelled them just a little bit too early,” Younger added.
Confidence is vital
Although sad with how he began the sport, Younger admitted he relishes conditions the place his again is in opposition to the wall.
“It is the creativeness as a child that comes out of me,” Younger mentioned. “It is these moments that you simply dream of when the clock’s operating down as a child whenever you’re within the gymnasium.
“In strain moments, in massive time video games like this, you are prepared for them.”
Hawks coach Nate McMillan agreed, citing Younger’s confidence as the important thing to his second-half flourish.
“Trae has an excessive amount of confidence in his sport, his skill and he continued to imagine,” McMillan informed reporters.
“I did not see any panic in his play. He got here out within the second half, remained aggressive. These pictures began to fall, the identical pictures that he was taking the primary half, they began to fall within the second half,” he added.
Within the different deciding play-in sport, the New Orleans Pelicans triumphed 105-101 over the Los Angeles Clippers to clinch the eighth seed within the Western Convention playoffs.
Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 30 factors to assist e book the Pelicans’ spot, their victory rewarded with a frightening match-up in opposition to the league’s greatest common season group, the Phoenix Suns.