NEW YORK (AP) – In his first time on stage, Trai Young was already the star of the show.
And like an actor on nearby Broadway, he closed his impressive debut performance with Dhanush, after making a lengthy 3-pointer at the last minute.
“Leading to this game, I know where we are, I know there’s a bunch of shows around this town and I know what they do when the show is over,” Young said.
Clint Capella backed up his confident words the day before with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks, who will play the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in their first trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals since 2016. The series starts on Sunday.
Young never looked like a playoff rookie, hitting the winning shot with 0.9 seconds in the opener and averaging 29.2 points and 9.8 assists.
The unholy spells toward the point guard continued on Wednesday, though less frequently than in Game 1 or 2. Young was never harassed by fans, one of whom was banned after spitting on Young in Game 2.
Now he has silenced them for the summer.
Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said, “I texted him before the playoffs started and told him he was built for this season with the confidence he brings to the floor, scoring basketballs and creating opportunities.” to his skill level.” “It’s really hard to plan a game against him.”
Julius Randall had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, ending his disappointing first postseason. The winner of the NBA’s Best Player award took 8 for 21 off the field and scored 28 for 94 (29.8%) in the series.
Randall said he was proud of the team the Knicks were on.
“It’s hard for me to process the way things ended, but we’ll be back,” he said.
With a pair of 40-point games during Atlanta’s three-game season sweep, Randall led the Knicks to a 41-31 record in his first season under Tom Thibodeau. But the Hawks were the better team so far in the series, with only a poor second half of Game 2 keeping them from sweep.
This continued a strong surge for the Hawks, who went 27–11 after March 1, when Lloyd Pierce was fired and McMillan was replaced.
They easily won two games in Atlanta and returned to New York believing they could pull it off. Capella underestimated the Knicks’ attempts to play physically, saying the Hawks could do that and win the game.
Both the coaches turned their backs on tough talk but it seemed that the players’ emotions had increased. Words were exchanged after Taj Gibson’s foul on D’Andre Hunter in the second quarter, and after the Knicks’ Nerlens Noel and Atlanta’s Solomon Hill collided at halftime as the teams parted ways. She was coming off the floor.
Noel, Randall and Hill were given a technical glitch. Young made a free throw on one of them before the start of play in the third quarter to give Atlanta a six-point lead.
Randall then made a 3-pointer to cut it to 53-50, but the Knicks would make only four more baskets in the remaining quarter. Nine straight points by the Hawks made it 62-50 when Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a 3-pointer, starting Atlanta’s 3 for 20 at the back of the arc.
The margin remained at 12 after three, when Randall had seven field goals but seven turnovers at the time.
The Knicks couldn’t make much of a dent in the final quarter, even as Spike Lee gave up and had a little over 3 minutes to go, and ran weakly in his first postseason since 2013 Gone.
“It’s a great group of guys, top to bottom, and the disappointment of losing a playoff series is to be expected, but I also think they know they have given their all,” Thibodeau said. “Once you do that, that’s all you can do.”
Hawks: Hunter scored 15 points and John Collins scored 13 points.
Nix: RJ Barrett scored 17 points. … Derrick Rose, moved into the starting lineup during the series, was just 3 for 11 for six points.
Marv on MSG
Marv Albert called the game for TNT, working the site for the first time since the All-Star Game and last working for the longtime Knicks broadcaster at Madison Square Garden who retired after the Eastern Conference Finals. Happening. Albert began calling Knicks games on radio in 1967 and began doing his games on television for the MSG network in 1986 until he and the organization split in 2004.
Both series were assistants to the US Olympic team under coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will coach his final season with Duke in 2021–22.
McMillan was on Krzyzewski’s staff when the Americans won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Thibodeau was on staff when the US won its third consecutive gold medal in 2016.
“Obviously legendary. Not only is he an all-time great, perhaps the greatest, but he is an even better person,” Thibodeau said. “He is just a wonderful leader, a wonderful person and he has done it as well as he has done it. As long as he’s done it, it just speaks volumes about who he is.”
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