Trae Young scored a career playoff high 48 points as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-113 in the opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.
The tight game swung in Atlanta’s favor when Clint Capela put his team ahead with 29.8 seconds left to play, before four free throws from Young inflicted a first home playoff loss on the Bucks this season.
It’s also the first time the Hawks have won a Conference Finals game since moving to Atlanta in 1968.
Young’s 48 points — two shy of his career high — are the the most in a playoff game by a Hawks player since 1988. He also recorded seven rebounds and 11 assists.
Giannis Antetokounmpo top-scored for the Bucks with 34 points, while Jrue Holiday added 33 points.
“Our confidence never goes away, we’ve put too much work in,” Young said after the game.
“We came too far to get here to stop believing in each other. That’s what we’re going to keep doing, we’ve going to keep fighting till it’s over with. Like I said, I believe in this group.”
Game two of the Eastern Conference finals takes place in Milwaukee on Friday, with the winner of the best-of-seven series facing either the Phoenix Suns or the LA Clippers.
The Suns took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals on Tuesday thanks to a last-gasp alley-oop from Deandre Ayton.
The Clippers announced on Wednesday that star Kawhi Leonard will not play in game three on Thursday due to a right knee sprain, the fifth game in a row he has missed.