Trae Young is among the most lethal scorers in all of basketball, and on Thursday night, the Atlanta Hawks’ All-Star guard reached a new milestone in his career. Young exploded for 50 points for the first time in a game, and the Hawks needed every one of them to beat the Miami Heat, 129-124.
Prior to this, Young’s career-high in a game was 49 points, which he did twice. The way he got to 50 was a bit fortunate — the refs called a foul in the game’s waning moments when it was already decided and he hit one of two from the charity stripe — but he managed to go thermonuclear in the previous 47:57 or so. Young was ruthless from the field, hitting the 50-point mark on 12-for-25 shooting and connecting on eight of his 15 threes. He also shot 18-for-19 on free throws.
Young’s always been capable of pulling up from anywhere, but that was especially on display against Miami. He even knocked down a three from the logo, which got the crowd in Atlanta on its feet.
While he had a monster evening, another member of the Hawks’ young core made the go-ahead bucket. Cameron Reddish picked Goran Dragic’s pocket and got an uncontested dunk on the other end, giving his squad a lead they would not relinquish.
Still, Atlanta needed every single bucket it could get out of Young, largely because Bam Adebayo was out of his mind. The winner of the All-Star Skills Competition had a career night of his own, scoring 28 points, pulling in 19 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. He also recorded three steals and a block.
Thanks to Young going supernova, though, that Herculean effort by Adebayo was for naught. Games like this are why Atlanta made it a point to acquire Young in a draft night trade that saw them send Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks, and while those two will be (fairly or unfairly) linked forever, this was the kind of performance that makes Young look like the kind of guy worth building around for the foreseeable future.