Hawks’ Trae Young ‘Had to Find a Way’ to Play Through Shooting Struggles in Game 7

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AP Photo/Matt Slocum

If someone told Atlanta Hawks fans their team would win a Game 7 on the road over the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers while Trae Young shot an abysmal 5-of-23 from the field, they surely wouldn’t have believed it.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened Sunday as Atlanta advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 103-96 victory.

To Young’s credit, he dished out 10 assists and drilled a long three-pointer late in the fourth quarter to push his team’s lead to six. He also gave the Hawks the lead at one point in that final quarter with one of his trademark floaters and played better down the stretch with the game hanging in the balance.

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“I just had to find a way,” Young said of overcoming his struggles, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “My shot was off tonight and my right hand, my shoulder is giving out and I was still trying to fight through and push through it and shots were going tonight but my teammates showed up and they played.”

Young has been playing through an apparent shoulder injury and wraps it up when he is sidelined.

Given his struggles, Atlanta wouldn’t have prevailed without the efforts of Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Danilo Gallinari.

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Huerter led the team in scoring with 27 points and converted three critical free throws in the final minute to push the lead to four. Collins battled inside against Joel Embiid and Philadelphia’s frontcourt and ended up with 14 points and 16 rebounds. And Gallinari made a number of important offensive plays on his way to 17 points while also forcing an Embiid turnover at a critical junction.

Winning teams get contributions from everyone along the way in a deep playoff run, and it was the supporting cast’s turn in the decisive Game 7.

But Atlanta will likely also need a better shooting performance from Young to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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