NBA play-offs: Trae Young’s 35 points lead Atlanta Hawks to victory over Philadelphia 76ers

Trae Young
Young (right) was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft

Trae Young scored 35 points as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 128-124 in the opening game of their NBA play-off series.

Young starred in Atlanta’s first-round series win over the New York Knicks, averaging 29 points a game.

And the 22-year-old was on form again, leading the Hawks to a dominant victory despite a late 76ers fightback.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 in game seven of their first-round series.

Young helped the Hawks to a fast start and they held a 19-point lead with eight minutes left.

Philadelphia produced a late comeback, scoring 11 straight points, but Atlanta held on.

Game two of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series is in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The series winners will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Brooklyn Nets for a place in next month’s NBA Finals.

Young also made 10 assists, while Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins each added 21 points for the Hawks.

Joel Embiid, who is nominated for this year’s NBA most valuable player, returned from a right knee injury for the 76ers and scored a game-high 39 points with nine rebounds and four assists.

Seth Curry added 21 points, Tobias Harris had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Australian guard Ben Simmons had 17 points and 10 assists.

At one point early in the second quarter, Atlanta held a 53-27 advantage, with the 76ers going almost six minutes without scoring.

“They hit us in the mouth to start the game,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “They were the more aggressive team. They were the more physical team. They got off to a better start.”

Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points with 10 rebounds, Marcus Morris Sr scored 23 points and Paul George added 22 points with 10 assists as the Clippers set up a second-round series against the Utah Jazz.

LA are only the sixth team in NBA history to lose the first two games of a series at home and still advance.

Luka Doncic scored 46 points for the Mavericks but it still was not enough as Dallas lost to the Clippers in the first round for the second straight season.

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