Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Trae Young's playmaking powers Atlanta Hawks to big Game 3 win over New York Knicks

"I'll see you in the A."

Trae Young welcomed the challenge after Game 2 and he more than delivered on his home floor.

Young was dominant in Game 3 as he led seven players in double figures with 21 points to power the Atlanta Hawks to a 105-94 win over the New York Knicks to take a 2-1 series lead.

Let's jump into the key takeaways at the buzzer:

Trae Young the playmaker

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young was at his playmaking best, dishing out 14 assists to go with 21 points as he engineered a comfortable win in Game 3.

Despite his high usage, he only had two turnovers for the game.

Pulling the strings all night, Young was relentless attacking the paint and getting the ball out to the perimeter, with his teammates, moving the ball at speed to create open looks.

Just count the passes on this possession for the open Kevin Huerter triple.

Young's 10 first-half assists make him the first player since Rajon Rondo in 2008 with 10+ assists in a half of a playoff game in their first postseason.

Second quarter run

After trailing by two at the end of the first quarter, the Hawks blew the game open in the second quarter going on a 23-3 run to take a 58-44 lead at the half, holding the Knicks to just 13 points in the period.

Behind Young's playmaking, the Hawks had the ball moving, creating open look after open look as they buried 9-of-15 from beyond the arc in the opening 24 minutes.

3-point avalanche

When the Hawks get rolling from deep, they're a tough team to stop, with Young (2), Danilo Gallinari (4), Kevin Huerter (3) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (3) making them pay from beyond the arc.

As a team, they shot a scoring 59.3 percent from deep (16-of-27), while the Knicks managed to connect on just 8-of-30 from the 3-point line.

Clint Mutombo

Clint Capela's presence in the paint, forced the Knicks' hand as they often settled for jump shots.

In the fourth quarter, he did his best Dikembe Mutombo impersonation, sending Randle's shot into the stands, wagging the finger and getting the crowd off their feet.

He finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in the win.

Rose shines in starting lineup

Sixth Man of the Year Finalist Derrick Rose was inserted into the Knicks starting lineup for Game 3, after coming off the bench for the first two games of the series.

Rose hadn't started a playoff game since May 14, 2015, when he started for the Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In 39 minutes, Rose recorded 30 points, six rebounds, five assists on 13-of-21 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep.

While he did a lot of the heavy lifting offensively, when the Knicks went into a hole, they had limited options off the bench, a role he has excelled in, calming things down and stopping runs.

Randle and Barrett held quiet

Averaging just 15 points through the first two games of the series, Julius Randle again found the going tough in Game 3 in Atlanta.

Against the size and length of Danilo Gallinari, John Collins and Clint Capela, they forced Randle into some tough shots, with the Hawks defence consistently sending help to crowd the Knicks' star.

He finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds on just 2-of-15 from the field and 2-of-7 from deep, while Barret managed just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.

What's next?

The series stays in Atlanta for Game 4, scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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