Back on their home floor for Game 5, the Knicks had their backs against the walls in a series where they trailed 3-1 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Playing a must-win game, they kept the contest close in the first half but Trae Young and the Hawks pulled away in the second to eventually win comfortably, 103-89. Thus, punching their ticket to the Conference Semifinals in the team's first playoff appearance since 2017.
The 22-year-old superstar guard scored 22 of his game-high 36 points in the second half, helping the Hawks outscore the Knicks 51-42 over the final two quarters.
Late in the game, with the result more or less decided, Young nailed the long-range dagger and then stopped halfcourt to take a bow and wave goodbye.
TRAE YOUNG TAKES A BOW IN MSG AFTER ELIMINATING KNICKS. 🍿👀 pic.twitter.com/L6i5A0S65H- House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) June 3, 2021
"I know where we are," Young said postgame about bow. "I know it's a bunch of shows around this city. And I know what they do when the show is over."
There's no denying the fact that he put on a show, averaging 29.2 points and 9.8 assists in his first playoff series. Despite all of the incidents and chants from the raucous MSG crowd, Young let his game do the talking.
"For me, it was going to be sweet either way. It was going to be sweet winning," Young said postgame about overcoming the Knicks at MSG.
"I was going to be feeling good after we won the series regardless but, winning here with all the fans still chanting the same stuff and really doing the same stuff feels good too."
Most 30-point playoff games by Hawks since 2000:- CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 3, 2021
Trae Young 3
Joe Johnson 2
Paul Millsap 2
THIS. WAS. HIS. 𝐅𝐈𝐑𝐒𝐓. PLAYOFF. SERIES. pic.twitter.com/CczMoyNiLx
"I know I'm built for this. I've put in a lot of work. In all seriousness, when a coach believes in you ... it's big," Young said on Hawks coach Nate McMillan.
His performances at the Garden put his name alongside Michael Jordan as the only players to have three straight 30-point playoff games at the Garden.
Looking ahead, in the next round, the fifth-seeded Hawks will face-up against the top seed in the Conference in the Philadelphia 76ers, who also wrapped up their series in five games against the Washington Wizards.
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