The next round of the Play-In commences. The Atlanta Hawks have downed the Charlotte Hornets previously to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The victor from them two will then go to face Miami Heat in the 1st round of the playoffs.
The Hawks went with their starting lineup of Trae Young, Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Heurter and Danilo Gallinari. The Cavaliers started with Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen and Caris LeVert.
With the opening tip, the Cavaliers took control of the game early on. Thanks to Lauri Markkanen and Darius Garland, the Cavaliers were able to push their weight around the Hawks weak perimeter defense. In the 2nd quarter, the Hawks solidified their defense and were hitting their groove. Unfortunately while going for a rebound, Mobley fell on Capela’s knees, injuring him in the process. The 1st half ended with a 10 point lead for the Cavaliers with 61-51.
In the 2nd half, without their defensive anchor, they decided to take a defensive approach first by putting Onyeka Okongwu on the center. It seemed like they would fall behind, but the Hawks pulled forward thanks to the effort of Trae Young going absolutely crazy on the offense.
The 4th quarter mimicked the 3rd quarter with the Hawks being relentless on the offensive end and Trae Young putting the icing on the game with the W. Despite the best efforts from Darius Garland, the Cavaliers could not pull through.
Trae Young was absolutely fantastic in the game. Unlike their previous game, this time Young took over with 38 points and 9 assists. Boban Bogdanovic came off the bench and put up 19 points along with 3 steals. Heurter and Gallinari put up 13 and 14 respectively while Hunter went off for 10.
Garland played extremely great putting up 21 points, 9 assists and 3 steals for the Cavaliers. Lauri Markkanen put up 26 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Evan Mobley put up 18 points and 8 rebounds along with 2 blocks. It was a shame to see his team go down like this when they were almost in the playoffs till February.
The Atlanta Hawks won the game and will now be moving to the Playoffs as the 8th seed. They will be facing the Miami Heat. It is a bit unfortunate having Clint Capela won’t be there this playoffs and the Hawks will be without a defensive anchor. Let’s see whether Young and co will soar or will they fall to the ground.