NBA roundup: Trae Young continues to haunt the Knicks, Bucks hit top gear
New York, New York - 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 Bogdanović off the bench.
New York's RJ 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.
Around the league
In a meeting between two Eastern Conference contenders, the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks showed their pedigree in a 126-98 home win against the Chicago Bulls.
Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was a force, scoring 25 points on nine-of-12 shooting to go with 17 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, although he did rack up nine turnovers.
The Bulls' trio of Demar DeRozan (21 points), Nikola Vucevic (22 points), and Zach Lavine (21 points) were all solid, but no other Bull could score more than seven points, while seven Bucks made their way into double figures.
In their second game since Stephen Curry's injury, and after losing to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, the Golden State Warriors suffered an embarrassing 94-90 loss against the Orlando Magic.
Jordan Poole was again impressive for the Warriors as he soaked up the extra minutes and usage, scoring 26 points to go with six assists.
For the Magic, exciting rookie Franz Wagner was terrific, scoring 18 points while snatching two steals and blocking one shot.
The Denver Nuggets eased to a 127-115 win over the LA Clippers, courtesy of another vintage performance by Nikola Jokić.
The reigning NBA MVP led in every stats category, snapping up 30 points, six assists, and 14 rebounds.
Cover photo: IMAGO / Icon SMI