NBA news: Atlanta beats the Cavaliers for the No. 8 playoff berth thanks to Young’s 38 points. The Pelicans beat the Clippers 105-101 to secure the eighth seed.
Trae Young scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half, and the Atlanta Hawks upset the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-101 in the play-in game on Friday night to claim the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 playoff spot despite losing big Clint Capela to a knee injury.
For the second game in a row, Young got off to a sluggish start, but “Ice Trae” kept him going. As he likes to think of himself, he got hot when it counted.
The All-Star guard scored 16 points in the third quarter to help the Hawks rebound from a 10-point halftime deficit, then added another 16 in the fourth to put the Cavs away.
Atlanta, which will face No. 1 seed Miami in the first round, added 19 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic. The first game will take place in South Florida on Sunday.
The Hawks, who advanced to the conference finals last season, may have to continue without Capela. Late in the first half, the 6ft 10in center hyperextended his right knee, had to be assisted off the court and was unable to return.
Lauri Markkanen had 26 points and Darius Garland had 21 for the Cavaliers, who finished the season just short of a playoff berth.
Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 New Orleans Pelicans
A season-ending injury to a franchise player. Head coach for the first time. It’s a 0-12 start. The New Orleans Pelicans overcome adversity to return to the playoffs.
Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and the Pelicans came back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the depleted Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 in a play-in game Friday night to claim the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Willie Green, the Pelicans’ coach, remarked, “That win was big-time.” New Orleans wasted a 16-point advantage in the first half and didn’t reclaim the lead until the last four and a half minutes of the game.
“It was a really emotional game,” Green recalled, “with a lot of highs and lows.” “But our philosophy is that we’re going to keep fighting.” We’re not going anywhere.”
Green, a former Clipper, led the Pelicans to the playoffs for the first time since 2017-18. Due to a foot ailment, they have been missing Zion Williamson for the whole season.
“You’re wondering when it’s going to pick up after 1-12 and 3-16?” Trey Murphy, a rookie, stated. “Being my first year, I have no idea what it’s like to win.” Take a look at us now.”