Trae Young sounds off on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving after Hawks beat Mavs

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks got a clutch win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 2 and a big reason is that they made life tough on Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“Tonight we just playing against two guys who can really beat a team by themselves if they get going,” Trae Young said of the Mavs’ dynamic duo via the atlhawksfans YouTube channel. “I think we did a good job of sticking to Luka and making it tough on those guys. Ky hit some tough, tough shots. I mean, that’s just what he does. But we didn’t hang our heads or anything like that. We just kept playing, I think that’s why we won.”

Doncic finished with 22 points but had to work to get there.

He was 8-for-21 from the field and 3-for-12 from beyond the arc. And while he added seven assists and seven rebounds, he also turned the ball over five times. This was Doncic’s lowest-scoring performance since he had 15 points in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on March 8.

Head coach Quin Snyder addressed Doncic’s sluggish night which he attributed in large part to Saddiq Bey who drew the start in place of the injured De’Andre Hunter.

He also poured in 13 points, right boards, two assists, two steals, and was a team-best plus-10.

“Touhgness plays,” Snyder said via the Hawks on Bally Twitter feed. “Mentally, even when the coverage changed occasionally, he was dialed in. Just a terrific effort. We said it before the game, just trying to make everything hard. … Having two guys on the floor in Kyrie and Luka that can make plays, I thought our guys did a great job of their gameplan discipline in a lot of different situations. And we haven’t had a game that’s required that as much as tonight did with those two guys being able to both make plays.”

Irving finished the night with a game-high 41 points on better than 59% shooting with 14 points coming in the fourth quarter. But he could only score two of the Mavs’ seven points in the overtime period.

It was also his foul that put Young at the line for the game-winning free throws in overtime.

Atlanta Hawks overcame an imbalance whistle, says Trae Young

“I think at one point…they was in the bonus with six minutes left and we still had one foul on the board. I think both teams were being just aggressive. They were getting some more calls but we still fought through it and just found a way to win. Didn’t let that distract us, that’s what you want to see from us.”

The Hawks held a 15-point lead but found themselves down early in the overtime period after Christian Wood’s three-pointer.

They outscored the Mavs 7-4 the rest of the way including those game-winning free throws.

This win kept pace with the rest of the Play-In Tournament field all notching wins in their respective last outings and a pivotal showdown with the Chicago Bulls on the road set for April 4 and the regular season series tied 1-1.

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The Hawks are the eight-seed as it stands despite an identical record as the Toronto Raptors thanks to owning the season series 2-1. A loss to the Bulls could put the Hawks as low as 10th by the time all is said and done on Tuesday.