An incredible back-and-forth battle between Trae Young and Zach LaVine ended with the Hawks picking up an important 120-108 win.
Young and LaVine combined to pour in 92 points on the night, with the All-Star duo putting on a show in Atlanta. Trailing by 13 points at halftime, the Hawks dominated the second half to outscore the Bulls 67-42.
The win improves Atlanta's record to 28-25 on the season, as they find themselves locked in a tight race for the fourth seed and home court advantage in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls now drop to 22-29, clinging to the final play-in tournament place.
But on this night, all eyes were on Young and LaVine, with the Bulls guard sending fans scrambling for the record books.
Zach LaVine (39 PTS in 1st half) is the third player over the last 20 seasons to score 39+ points in the 1st half, joining Klay Thompson (40 PTS on Dec. 5, 2016) and Kobe Bryant (42 PTS on Mar. 28, 2003). pic.twitter.com/KDuBZwbbkO- NBA History (@NBAHistory) April 10, 2021
With 39 at the half, the 26-year-old had many hoping he could chase Kobe Bryant's famous 81-point outing from January 2006. Slowing down in the second half, LaVine would still finish with a career-high 50 points on an efficient 18-for-31 from the floor and 7-for-12 from three.
Acrobatic finishing inside, scorching hot shooting from the outside, it was the total package from LaVine, who became the first Chicago player to reach 30 points by halftime since....you guessed it, Michael Jordan.
In the last 25 seasons, only Kobe Bryant (42) and Klay Thompson (40) have scored more in the 1st half of a game.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 10, 2021
Prior to LaVine, Michael Jordan (30 on Feb. 24, 1997 vs the Trail Blazers) was the last Bulls player to score 30 points before halftime. https://t.co/3Dfst6ggq6
Tallying 42 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, Young would have the last laugh despite struggling from beyond the arc to finish 1-for-6. Instead, the 22-year-old did the majority of his damage from 2-point range where he was a cool 14-for-19.
Trae leads the way with 18 PTS at the half.- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 10, 2021
🎥 Presented by @Verizon pic.twitter.com/boQ49iT15r
It was the fourth 40-point game of the season for Young, with the 42 falling just one shy of his season best.
Big men put up numbers
Overshadowed by the scoring exploits of the star guards, both teams welcomed strong performances from their big men.
Clint Capela continued his excellent season, finishing a series of lobs from Trae Young in his total of 22 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Newly acquired Bulls centre, Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 25 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago.
ON HIS HEAD. pic.twitter.com/to4xsQO1LG- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 10, 2021
The Bulls and Hawks witll both have one night off before road games. Chicago will be in Minnesota, while Atlanta face Charlotte.
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