Less than halfway through the season, Trae Young is closing in on the 1,000-point mark as he leads the Atlanta Hawks into their final regular-season game against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
The Hawks have won two of the three meetings against the Bucks, most recently a 121-106 victory at Milwaukee on Nov. 14. Atlanta has a four-game home winning streak against the Bucks.
Young scored 30 points in Sunday’s 112-108 road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and has 989 points so far. He also has 353 assists and is the only player in the Eastern Conference, and one of three players in the NBA, with 900 points and 300 assists. Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic have also hit both marks.
Young scored 42 points against the Bucks on Oct. 29 at Milwaukee, two points short of the Hawks’ franchise record against the Bucks set by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins in 1990. In 12 career games against Milwaukee, Young is averaging 24.5 points and 8.5 assists.
Young has scored at least 30-plus points in two straight games and three of his last four. He has 15 games with 30-plus points, including 18 double-doubles, and upped his season average to 27.5 points and 9.8 assists.
Atlanta went 2-2 on its West Coast road trip and overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Clippers. The victory was No. 750 for Atlanta coach Nate McMillan.
“We’re going to make runs and they are, too,” Young said. “It’s just trying to weather the storm on their runs and finish the game out when we’ve got it. In the fourth quarter it’s up to me and (Dejounte Murray) to get a good shot every possession and try to finish the game. I’m just glad we got the win. That’s the most important part.”
The Bucks are coming off a 111-107 win over the New York Knicks on Monday, during the first leg of a four-game road trip. Milwaukee erased a 17-point deficit to end New York’s four-game winning streak. Milwaukee has won four of its last six since enduring a four-game losing streak.
The Bucks are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 31.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists. His last six games include three of at least 40 points, three of at least 20 rebounds, not to mention a 30-pount triple-double. He is on track to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the fifth straight season.
In 31 career games against the Hawks, Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Veteran Joe Ingles is rounding into shape for the Bucks after missing the first 29 games while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. He had a season-high 28 minutes and 17 points against the Knicks and hit five 3-pointers.
“It’s nice to finish a game,” Ingles said. “It’s nice to be in those situations, obviously.”
Atlanta has been without center Clint Capela (12 points, 11.9 rebounds) for the last seven games with right calf soreness.
The Bucks are missing Serge Ibaka, who is out for personal reasons and will not rejoin the team on its four-game road trip. Milwaukee guard Khris Middleton has missed 12 straight games with right knee soreness.
–Field Level Media