The fifth-seeded Hawks didn't have home-court advantage all through the playoffs but they seem to have made it a habit to win Game 1s. They did it against the Knicks, they did it against the top-seeded 76ers and once again, against the Bucks.
Trae Young led from the front as he dropped a playoff career-high 48 points to go along with 11 assists as the Hawks stole home court advantage with the 116-113 Game 1 win.
The victory is the franchise's first in the Conference Finals since 1969, snapping a streak of 10 straight defeats. Here's a look at the takeaways from this one:
Trae Young puts on a show
He's just 22 years old but the bright lights of the postseason don't seem to phase Young.
His performance in Game 1 was nothing short of a masterclass, scoring his points tally on 17-of-34 shooting and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. The Bucks made a 20-8 run midway through the fourth quarter but after that, Young took over.
https://t.co/GwJtdttKeG pic.twitter.com/cId4Aq0hRX- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 24, 2021
JC DELIVERED‼️ 💯 pic.twitter.com/4nx78ScR1e- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 24, 2021
He scored (9) or assisted on 14 of the team's last 18 points including four clutch free-throws, as the Hawks outscored the Bucks by 10 in the final 4:18 of the game to win it.
In the first half, the Hawks only trailed by five (59-54) and the sole credit for that goes to Trae Young. He scored 25 of his points tally in the first half on 11-of-16 shooting from the field and dished out four assists, which were responsible for nine points.
He didn't receive a lot of assistance as no other Hawks player finished in double figures. Combined, the rest of the Hawks scored 29 on 12-of-29 shooting from the field.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's all-round game goes in vain
The 'Greek Freak' had one of his best games of the 2021 playoffs, making an impact across the board as he finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks.
He shot 14-of-25 from the field, only attempted two 3-pointers and nailed six of his eight free-throw attempts as he did most of his damage in the paint with dunks and drives.
Jus throw it up and Giannis will throw it down!! pic.twitter.com/LE5ELrIBhf- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 24, 2021
THE MEAN MUG IS OUT. pic.twitter.com/tEfFN36JpS- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 24, 2021
Recording his 12th straight double-double of the playoffs, having recorded one in each game so far, Antetokounmpo also passed Bucks legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most consecutive 30-10 double-doubles in franchise playoff history.
Is Jrue Holiday back?
Jrue Holiday, the Bucks big offseason acquisition, seemed to have bounced back from his struggles against the Brooklyn Nets. With respect to playmaking and making shots overall, he seemed to have found the groove he was in the first round against the Miami Heat.
In Game 1 against the Hawks, he scored 33 points - his high this postseason - while dishing out 10 assists.
|First Round vs. Heat||15.3 ppg||9.3 apg||48.1%||20.0%|
|Conf. Semis vs. Nets||15.1 ppg||6.3 apg||36.1%||26.1%|
|Game 1 of Conf. Finals vs. Hawks||33||10||56.0%||41.7%|
It's not just the points, he did it efficiently. He seems to have found his shot and was consistently attacking the rim.
Jrue rocking the rim 😤#ECFonTNT pic.twitter.com/2Mi1DuMJc7- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 24, 2021
He shot 14-of-26 from the field and 5-of-12 from long distance in 42 minutes of action.
All paint action
Both teams together averaged a combined 26.8 3-pointers in the regular season but that wasn't the case in Game 1 as they only combined for 16 with eight apiece.
The Bucks, among the best 3-point shooting teams in the league, only shot 22.2 percent in this game while the Hawks went 8-of-32 from long range as both teams dominated the paint.
Milwaukee scored 70 of their 113 in the paint while for Atlanta, the points tally was 54.
The Hawks pull off another stunner and after a day off, they'll look to steal two games on the road. They'll have that chance in Game 2, scheduled for Friday, Jun. 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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