Despite losing starting center Clint Capela to a first-half injury in Friday’s play-in game, the Atlanta Hawks rallied behind Trae Young’s season-saving second half to beat the Cavaliers 107-101 in Cleveland.
The Hawks advance to face the Miami Heat, the Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team, in a first-round playoff series that begins Sunday in Miami.
Young, the Hawks’ All-Star floor general, carried his team with 38 points, including 30 in the second half and 15 in the fourth quarter alone.
Young shot 4-of-11 from 3-point range and drilled several back-breaking shots that helped the Hawks hold their lead late. He added nine assists.
The Hawks took their first lead late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Young, who scored 16 points in the quarter, helping his team overcome a 14-point deficit.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter behind the hot 3-point shooting from Lauri Markkanen, who scored 17 first-half points and sank 5 of 8 from 3-point range before intermission. Markkanen led the Cavaliers with 26 points, and Darius Garland added 21.
Cavaliers All-Star center Jarrett Allen returned to the starting lineup after missing 19 games with a broken left finger. Allen hadn’t played since March 6 but finished with 11 points and three rebounds.
The Hawks lost Capela in the first half when the Cavaliers center Evan Mobley fell against Capela’s knee. Capela had to be helped off the court with what the Hawks later called a hyperextended right knee. His availability against the Heat is unclear.