When Trae Young was announced as an All-Star starter, there were some critics that suggested he should not have been in line for the honour given the Atlanta Hawks lowly ranking in the Eastern Conference standings.
In the continuation of Young silencing those doubters, he dished out a career-high 18 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Hawks 127-117 upset win.
The second-year guard added 39 points and six rebounds in a dominant performance, as Atlanta was able to hold off the Sixers down the stretch to close out the game.
The career-night was set up in the first half, where he compiled an incredible 29 points and 11 assists.
The first half explosion placed Young in a class of his own over the last 20 seasons, with only Kobe Bryant matching that type of production in a half.
Trae Young has 29 points (6-13 FG) and 11 assists in the 1st half, he is the 1st player in the last 20 seasons with 25 Pts, 10 Ast in an opening half.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 31, 2020
The last player with 25 Pts and more than 10 Ast in ANY half was Kobe Bryant on March 6, 2013. pic.twitter.com/IVILGSzOFv
The last five games for Young have been absurd, with the electric point guard going on a scoring and assisting spree, averaging 34 points and 15.2 assists in that span.
Atlanta has gone 3-2 in that stretch, which is certainly progress for the squad holding up the Eastern Conference standings with a 13-36 mark overall.
Trae Young, last 5 games:- StatMamba (@statmuse) January 31, 2020
39 PTS, 18 AST
18 PTS, 13 AST
45 PTS, 14 AST
26 PTS, 16 AST
42 PTS, 15 AST pic.twitter.com/pV0z3NVItJ
For Philadelphia, the loss adds to its struggles on the road, and the Sixers now slump to a 31-18 record overall, which leaves them 3.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors for second place, and an incredible 11 games back of the Milwaukee Bucks in first.
The Sixers are now 9-16 away from home this season. The nine road wins are the third-lowest mark among the 16 playoff teams across both conferences, with only the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets trailing them with eight wins apiece.
Philadelphia was without Al Horford and Josh Richardson in this one, though, the questions will continue to raise about their championship credentials as they continue to sit in sixth place in the East.
Joel Embiid finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds in his second game back after hand surgery in early January.