Young's 38 Lift Hawks Past Cavs for No. 8 Playoff Seed
Trae Young scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half and the Atlanta Hawks overcame losing center Clint Capela to a knee injury to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-101 in the play-in on Friday night and earn the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 playoff seed
Young started slowly for the second straight game, but “Ice Trae,” as he fancies himself, heated up when it mattered most.
Bogdan Bogdanovic added 19 points for Atlanta, which will play No. 1 seed Miami in the first round. Game 1 is Sunday in South Florida.
The Hawks, who made it to the conference finals a year ago, may have to go forward without Capela. The 6-foot-10 center hyperextended his right knee late in the first half, had to be helped from the floor and couldn’t return.
Lauri Markkanen scored 26 and Darius Garland 21 for the young Cavaliers, whose unexpected season fell just shy of a playoff berth.
Cleveland hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2018, and the Cavs haven’t been to the postseason without LeBron James on their roster since 1998.
As if to add insult to injury, James tweeted an emoji of an ice cube in the closing seconds — a nod to Young — as the Hawks were ending Cleveland’s season.
Markkanen made four 3-pointers and Cleveland hit six shots from long range in the first 12 minutes to open an 11-point lead after one.
Hawks: Danilo Gallinari added 14 points. … Young averaged 32.5 points in four games against Cleveland in the regular season. … F/C John Collins (finger, foot) and Lou Williams (back) both sat out. … Committed a league-low 11.9 turnovers per game during the regular season.