The Atlanta Hawks (19-27) had to claw their way to a narrow 126-125 victory over the Toronto Raptors on January 28.
Trae Young finished the game with a game-high 30 points and 12 assists, his second 30-point, 10-assist outing in a row. He also missed a layup for the win. But it was a late turnover nearly gave the game away that stuck with the guard postgame.
“I'm always confident in the last moments and the last seconds,” Young told reporters.
“We didn't feel like we needed it to be that way. When I turned it over, I knew I was going to give my team a chance on the other end because I felt bad and I messed our team up turning it over. And that's something that I know I can be better at, and I was dumb for making that mistake at the end. I should have called a timeout when I didn't have anywhere to go.”
“That's nobody else's fault but mine,” Young continued about the turnover. I definitely put us in a bad spot.”
The most encouraging part about the win for the Hawks is that they were short-handed for the contest. Dejounte Murray was a late addition to the injury report with hamstring tightness. It was his first absence of the season.
They are also still without De’Andre Hunter.
Trae Young confident in Hawks’ late-game execution
The win also moved the Hawks to 12-16 in clutch games – games decided by five or fewer points – on the season. Saddiq Bey trailed Young on a drive, getting the game-winning putback to put an exclamation point on a 26-point, 13-rebound, three-assists night.
Young spoke on his confidence in the Hawks’ ability to execute, particularly in that situation.
“I just knew later in the game [after his turnover] that I was either going to get by my man and get a layup or somebody was going to crash the glass,” Young said. “When a guy goes up for the last second shot everybody tries to block their shot or everybody tries to contest. So it's an opportunity for guys to crash the glass and go get a little tip-in at the end of the game.
“I knew we were going to. But there was too much time left for us not to get at least a good shot up or a good attempt up. So I was very confident there.”
The Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak, their third skid of at least that many games this season. They had just one such streak last season, and they had two the entire season before that.
Atlanta has now split the first two games of a six-game homestand.
Up next is the Los Angeles Lakers (January 30), followed by the Phoenix Suns (February 2), Golden State Warriors (February 3), and Los Angeles Clippers (February 5).