NBA

Trae Young continues to haunt the Knicks, Bucks hit top gear

By Sports Desk March 22, 2022

Trae Young's return to Madison Square Garden was like a recurring nightmare for New York Knicks fans as the Atlanta Hawks prevailed 117-111.

Young, who became public enemy number one in New York when he erupted in the playoffs, eliminating the Knicks in the process, was spectacular again on Tuesday night.

He finished with a game-high 45 points (13-of-25 shooting, seven-of-15 from three) to go with eight assists, and was supported by a season-high 32 points (11-of-20 shooting, four-of-10 from three) from Bogdan Bogdanovic off the bench.

New York's R.J. Barrett played hard, but was ultimately inefficient, scoring 30 points on nine-of-25 shooting, going one-of-seven from long range and 11-of-17 from the free throw line.

The win pulls the Hawks' record even at 36-36, with last year's Eastern Conference finalists set for a play-in battle as they occupy the 10 seed.

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    Brunson, one of the breakout stars in the Dallas Mavericks’ run to the Western Conference final last season, intends to sign a four-year, $110 million contract with the New York Knicks, The Athletic reported Thursday. 

    The NBA’s free agency negotiating period began at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. No deals will be official until the beginning of the league year on July 6. 

    Brunson, who spent his early childhood in New Jersey and was a part of two NCAA title teams at Villanova, had been widely linked to the Knicks after he and the Mavericks failed to agree to a contract extension last season. 

    The Athletic’s report said that Dallas never had the opportunity to make Brunson an offer, further evidence that his relationship with the Mavericks’ front office had been fractured. 

    Brunson was chosen by Dallas in the second round of the 2018 draft and played 277 games for the Mavs, starting in 127. 

    Last season, Brunson registered career highs by averaging 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists.

    He scored 21.6 points per game last postseason, including an average of 32.0 points during the first three games of the first round against the Utah Jazz with Luka Doncic sidelined by injury. 

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