ATLANTA – Trae Younger knew he’d have to hold a heavy load, and that was OK with him.
The rookie was pumped to face LeBron James.
Younger had 22 factors and 14 assists, John Collins additionally scored 22 factors regardless of foul hassle, and the Atlanta Hawks defeated James and the Los Angeles Lakers 117-113 on Tuesday night time.
The Hawks snapped a three-game dropping streak regardless of a triple-double from James, who had 28 factors, 16 assists and 11 rebounds.
“I attempt to stay in huge moments,” Younger mentioned. “I really feel like I belong right here. He is probably the greatest gamers of all time. However once I’m out on the court docket, I am attempting to compete and get a win.”
Younger matched his season excessive by taking part in 38 minutes, taking up a larger burden after the Hawks purchased out the contract of his veteran backup, Jeremy Lin. With Jaylen Adams sidelined by a sprained proper ankle, Younger was the one true level guard on the roster.
“It was positively totally different,” Younger mentioned. Requested if he was drained, he mentioned with a smile, “Slightly bit.”
Regardless of chants of “Kobe’s higher” from the sellout crowd of 16,824, James was cheered loudly by a hefty contingent of Lakers followers. He turned in a stunning effort, equaling his season excessive by taking part in 43 minutes, however it wasn’t sufficient to make up for the subpar group round him.
The Lakers dropped 2½ video games behind Sacramento for the ultimate playoff spot within the Western Convention.
“We both make it or we do not make it,” James mentioned. “Don’t fret about it.”
However the frustration was obvious on his face when he stormed straight to the locker room as quickly because the horn sounded.
“Some guys have by no means performed a playoff recreation earlier than,” James mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t train them that. It is crucial to grasp how essential each recreation is, irrespective of who you are taking part in or the place you might be.”
Each groups struggled mightily within the closing quarter after an up-and-down monitor meet over the primary three intervals. The Hawks made simply 5 of 19 pictures over the ultimate 12 minutes; the Lakers weren’t significantly better, hitting 6 of 22. The groups mixed to go Three of 18 from 3-point vary.
The Hawks scored simply seven factors within the closing 6:33 however managed to carry on. Taurean Prince delivered a key 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining, and Younger darted previous James for a lay-in and a foul that thwarted any hope of a Lakers comeback.
It positive did not begin out that manner.
Atlanta tied a franchise document for 3-pointers in 1 / 4, going 10 of 17 within the opening interval for a 38-32 lead. The Lakers fought again to take a 69-65 edge on the half, however Atlanta pulled forward for good to guide 100-95 going to the fourth.
The Lakers had an opportunity after an Atlanta turnover led to a driving basket by James, slicing the Hawks’ result in 116-113. However after desperately attempting to give you a steal, Los Angeles was pressured to foul Kevin Huerter with 4.Three seconds left. He made the second of two free throws to seal the victory.