The Atlanta Hawks have now won games in two countries this season, notching a 120-119 victory over the Orlando Magic in Mexico City.
Trae Young led all scorers with 41 points, tying the record for most points in a Mexico game, a record was previously held by Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who logged a triple-double in a win over the Detroit Pistons in 2019.
“I mean, it feels good,” Young said via the team on November 10. “But, to be honest with you, I feel way better that we won. I would be up here mad as a mug if we lost and I had the record or tied the record, whatever. So to me, being able to do that while winning makes the night way more special.”
That it was Doncic’s mark Young tied surely isn’t lost on Hawks fans.
The two players were traded for one another in the 2018 NBA Draft. Ever since then, the debate has raged about who won or lost the trade with every stat in the book brought forth to justify arguments on both sides.
Doncic is the bigger player but Young has been more durable.
Doncic’s Mavericks have had more regular-season success than Young’s Hawks. But they both have one Conference Finals appearance.
“I don’t even stress over here no more,” Young said on the “Draymond Green Show” in July. “I know the real ones get it. I feel like for me once I win a championship they’ll even open up more eyes to what I’ve really done, especially to some of my peers that I’m compared with, to be honest with you.”
Young led the league in total assists for the second year in a row last season, one year after also leading in total points scored, accomplishing a feat that hadn’t been done in 60 years. He is a two-time All-Star and one-time All-NBA selection.
But he isn’t taking a shot at anyone pointing out his accomplishments.
“I have no hate towards nobody, especially Luka,” Young said. “We talk all the time. We got a lot of love for each other, a lot of respect for each other.
“There’s different agendas and the way people look at certain people is different. To be honest, I don’t get caught up into it. I feel like eventually people are going to understand what it is and realize that it’s not that far off. We kind of do the same things. We’re different in size but I mean he can play like I can play you know what I’m saying? We can we can both hoop.”
Young and Doncic will square off for the first time this season on January 26.
Trae Young: Dejounte Murray hit ‘biggest three of the night’ in Hawks’ win
This win was the Hawks fourth in their last five outings. It came after Young whipped a pass around a defender to Dejounte Murray in the corner who knocked down the game-winner.
“I just wanted to try to make a play,” Young said. “Got Paulo [Banchero] on me and just wanted to try to attack him. I know you’re in the bonus, so he’s not going to be too physical on me. And so I just wanted to try to use my speed to get by him. And then, if there was no help coming, I was going to shoot the layup if somebody came and helped.
“It was time for me to make the read again and I saw another guy uh clamped down on our big. … Like I said a couple games ago, I should be able to throw that blindly and know that my teammate’s going to be there.
“Yet again DJ was there and hit a three, and it was the biggest three of the night for us.”
Young has been complimentary of Murray’s reliability in those moments, not just for hitting the open shot, but for making the right decision.
In this case, that was taking the clutch triple, his third of seven attempts from beyond the arc on the night. Murray finished with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a pair of steals. Young was short of a triple-double. But he did add eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals in the victory.
The Hawks will see the Magic again on January 7. Up next is a home tilt against the Miami Heat (4-4) in which the Hawks will debut their new City Edition uniforms.