Atlanta Hawks defeat Philadelphia 76ers 127-117 behind career-night from Trae Young

And no, the score is not a typo.

Thursday night’s matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers left no disappointments as both teams competed down to the wire. For the Hawks, seven players scored in double figures but free throws decided the outcome. 

Frustration set in for Brett Brown’s team, as the 76ers picked up a couple of technical fouls in the final few seconds before the first half concluded. Philadelphia cut into Atlanta’s lead, but the free throws from Young halted any hope. Brown spoke on his team’s defense after the game.

“I thought our young wings struggled tonight… You have to guard,” Brown said. “This is a tough feat for any team as it seems this young Atlanta team is starting to gell and really gain confidence.” 

The bright spot for Brown in this one was the contribution from his young point guard Shake Milton, who finished with 27 points. Milton’s timely threes and scoring kept his team in the game and didn’t allow Atlanta to pull away. 

Atlanta went 32-37 at the charity stripe while Philly shot 32-45.

First-year All-Star Trae Young finished with 38 points behind 18-20 at the free-throw line to complement a career-high 18 assists. Games like this answer any doubts about him being a starter for the Kobe Bryant-themed game on Feb. 16. 

Opposing players noted Young’s growth from year one to year two.

“Every time we play against him, he dominates the game,” Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris said.

Just ask Philadelphia’s locker room, they will tell you how much goes into planning for someone like Young.

“I think we were just too focused on what Trae was doing, and he was able to facilitate,” 76ers forward Ben Simmons said. 

Simmons, also a first-year All-Star, had a stellar game, finishing with a team-high 31 points to go along with four steals. 

While four players for the Sixers scored 21 or more points, Atlanta’s depth was too much. DeAndre Hunter finished with 15 points and John Collins posted an exceptional 17 points and 20 rebounds. 

Aside from the young core, Vince Carter added in 14 points and made history, becoming third all-time in games played. 

The Hawks displayed great mettle in this game, proving that they have the ability to play with the league’s top teams.

Atlanta travels to Dallas Saturday as they take on the Mavericks at American Airlines Arena before returning to State Farm Arena to host the Boston Celtics.