THE ENERGY TONIGHT. #BelieveAtlanta pic.twitter.com/IfeXLtxqt0— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Knicks vs. Hawks score, takeaways: Trae Young makes NBA history in win; Atlanta secures 2-1 series lead
The Hawks now own a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series
The Atlanta Hawks took control of their best-of-seven series against the New York Knicks on Friday night by coming away with a 105-94 win to take a 2-1 lead.
As he has been throughout the series, Trae Young was magnificent again for Atlanta as he finished the night with 21 points and a game-high 14 assists to lead the charge for the Hawks on the offensive end. On the other end of the spectrum, New York's All-Star, Julius Randle, struggled mightily, again, finishing with just 14 points while shooting 2-15 from the field. His ineffectiveness made Derrick Rose's performance, a game-high 30 points, less impactful than it otherwise would have been.
In the end, Young's play coupled with the Knicks' cold shooting night proved to be too much for New York to overcome. These two teams will meet again on Sunday in Game 4 with the opening tip scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on ABC. Before moving ahead to that game though, let's take a look at three key takeaways from Atlanta's Game 3 win.
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- Trae Young made some NBA history
Trae Young is an elite scorer, and he's also one of the NBA's better passers, and both of those skills have been on full display in the series against the Knicks. Young has been manufacturing his own offense while also setting up his teammates at a high level, and he made some league history as a result. With his production, Young became just the fifth player ever to average 25 points and 10 assists through his first 3 career playoff games. The other four? Perhaps you've heard of them: Kevin Johnson, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Oscar Robertson. Not bad company for Young, who has quickly proven that he's not afraid of the big stage. He also became just the sixth player ever to compile more than 30 assists in his first three playoff games. His passing in Game 3 was a thing of beauty as he consistently generated open opportunities for his teammates, both at the rim and beyond the arc.
Trae Young became just the 6th player in NBA History to record more than 30 assists in his first three career playoff games 🥶 pic.twitter.com/D83AeHlubF— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) May 29, 2021
Young is only in his third season, but he's quickly approaching being in the unguardable territory. His offensive game is extremely advanced, and he can basically do it all on that end -- shoot, drive, and dish. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they're learning that the hard way.
2. Another forgettable performance from Julius Randle
Julius Randle is the NBA's Most Improved Player, but you wouldn't know it from watching the series against the Hawks. Randle has struggled immensely against Atlanta's defense, and his inability to produce points is a huge part of the reason that the Knicks are down 2-1. In Game 3, Randle had his worst game of the series so far, which is saying something. He finished with a paltry 14 points on 2-for-15 shooting from the floor. He couldn't buy a bucket, and while he deserves some credit for staying aggressive despite his shooting struggles (he went 8-for-8 from the foul line and grabbed 11 rebounds), that alone just isn't enough.
Julius Randle is 13-54 FG in this series (24.1%).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 29, 2021
It’s the worst FG pct by any player in the first 3 games of a postseason in the shot-clock era (min. 50 FGA). pic.twitter.com/wf2SJHgNAz
The Knicks relied on Randle for point production all season and without it, in this series, they've been floundering on that end of the floor. Over the series, Randle is shooting just 24 percent from the floor -- a huge drop from the regular season when he shot 45 percent. Quite frankly, he needs to snap out of this funk moving forward, or the series will be over pretty quickly. Most of that falls on Randle's shoulders, but some of it also falls on coach Tom Thibodeau, who needs to figure out a way to help get Randle going, perhaps by trying to force and exploit mismatches, or use him as a roller in pick and roll scenarios so he gets some momentum going to the hoop. They have to try something because Randle looks lost out there.
3. Derrick Rose turns back the clock
If there was a silver lining for the Knicks in this one, it was the play of Derrick Rose. Rose was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Elfrid Payton, and he made the most of the opportunity. Rose played a team-high 39 minutes, and he led the Knicks with 30 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the floor. Randle was the second-highest scoring Knicks player with 14 points. Rose also added six rebounds and five assists.
The Knicks shooting tonight— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 29, 2021
13-21 — Derrick Rose
16-59 — Rest of team pic.twitter.com/66aeFdlVM7
It remains to be seen if he can maintain that level of production, and usage, but through three games he's been New York's best player, which is pretty impressive when you consider the arc of his career. If Rose had some help from Randle and R.J. Barrett in Game 3, the Knicks might have been able to pull out a win. But the fact that his teammates were unable to step up doesn't make Rose's production less impressive. Just make sure not to call his current level of play "vintage," he's not a fan of that.
ATL, you showed love tonight!— solomon hill (@solohill) May 29, 2021
RT if you #BelieveAtlanta.— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
.@CapelaClint channeling his inner @officialmutombo 😤 pic.twitter.com/UTnr2UUxdk— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
2️⃣ - 1️⃣ lead. #TrueToAtlanta pic.twitter.com/l7FaexdrXQ— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) May 29, 2021
Showed out in the A. #BelieveAtlanta pic.twitter.com/lekVcMxUEh— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Stay locked in. Another opportunity on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/hhMsyPEL7z— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 29, 2021
R.J. Barret posted an extremely underwhelming stat line in Game 3
RJ Barrett tonight:— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 29, 2021
1/5 3PM pic.twitter.com/CSLM1LZorP
That's all she wrote. Hawks beat Knicks 105-94 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Derrick Rose is now up to 30 points for the Knicks. If only he had some help.
HAWKS WIN— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
HAWKS WIN pic.twitter.com/q2bBspzZHp
Trae Young has been one of the most entertaining players to watch in the postseason so far. He has a great combination of game and personality.
The Knicks are going to need to find a way to get Julius Randle going on the offensive end moving forward in the series. Derrick Rose can't carry the offensive load alone. If Randle doesn't step up, this series isn't going to last long.
THE ENERGY. pic.twitter.com/vybz9pxSJW— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
R.J. Barrett scores his second field goal in the game with less than 2 minutes remaining.
The Hawks are just dunking all over the Knicks.
BOGI FOR THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/3MCrmZkXBG— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Trae Young has put on an absolute passing clinic this game. He has 14 assists to go along with 20 points.
With four minutes remaining, the Hawks go up 15, 100-85. Barring a crazy comeback, this one is likely over.
May 29, 2021
Trae Young took Quickley to the rack and then let him know he was too small. Cold.
Trae let's Quickley know he's TOO SMALL 🤭 pic.twitter.com/MtmWMLm4Ab— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 29, 2021
4-4 from deep tonight‼️ pic.twitter.com/gWlgPUyW2n— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Let 'em know pic.twitter.com/mR6pAiZY3t— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
On the money.— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 29, 2021
D-Rose ➡️ Obi pic.twitter.com/eApTgN3gMA
Hawks fans had their own chants in store for Julius Randle after Knicks fans let Trae Young hear it in New York.
Hawks crowd started an "overrated" chant for Julius Randle— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 29, 2021
Trae Young has 13 assists in the game so far. The Knicks as a team have 7. Young has nearly double their total by himself.
COOK UP KEV.— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Both teams have 8 turnovers through three quarters of action.
A few of ATL’s finest in the building. pic.twitter.com/aOB5x9crz8— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021
Time to finish. pic.twitter.com/hoSR2kE9ql— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 29, 2021