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Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young records first career triple-double in loss to Brooklyn Nets

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Trae Young (NBA Getty Images)

Luka Doncic might be the favourite to win Rookie of the Year, but Trae Young showed on Saturday why he deserves to be in the conversation.

On a night where his shot wasn't falling, Young still managed to steal the show by recording his first career triple-double. The Atlanta Hawks rookie scored 23 points on 4-for-14 shooting from the field and 13-for-16 from the free throw line, dished out 11 assists and pulled down 10 rebounds in 28 minutes, all while turning the ball over only twice.

While Doncic leads all rookies this season with four triple-doubles, Young joined Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, Tim Hardaway and Jason Kidd as the only first-year players in Basketball Reference's database to finish with a triple-double in less than 30 minutes of action.

It still wasn't enough for the Hawks to beat the Nets - Vince Carter missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that would've won the game - but Atlanta outscored Brooklyn by a total of 13 points in Young's minutes on the court, giving him the second-highest +/- of the game.

Young has been incredible over the last month. Prior to Saturday's matchup with the Nets, he was averaging 28.5 points, 8.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds since the All-Star break on 45.3 percent shooting from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

He recently made history by joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only rookies in the last 40 years to post 40-plus points and 10-plus assists in a single game when he exploded for 49 points and 16 assists in a quadruple overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Doncic, meanwhile, has cooled off a little since a scorching first half of the season. Not individually, but only the Los Angeles Lakers have a worse net rating than the Dallas Mavericks over the last 15 games.

The Hawks rank 23rd in the league during that stretch, but they've been mostly competitive, posting a 6-9 record and losing by a margin of only 2.8 points per 100 possessions.

Saturday's loss was yet another example of how much better both Young and the Hawks have been playing following a slow start to the season.

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