Rookie Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks set a career-high with 49 points in a losing cause against the Chicago Bulls in a quadruple overtime game eventually won by the Bulls 168-161, which marked the third-highest scoring game in NBA history.
The Hawks (21-42) and Bulls (18-45) combined for 329 points. The four-overtime affair generated the most points in a game in 36 years. The Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets set the NBA record in 1983 with 377 points in a triple-overtime scorcher. The Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs combined for second-most points in an NBA game with 337 in 1982.
Young narrowly missed a triple-double and the rookie finished with 49 points, 16 assists, and 8 rebounds. Zach LaVine led the Bulls in scoring with 47 points.
The Bulls and Hawks were tied at 124 at the end of regulation. The high-scoring pace continued in OT with 32 combined points. By the end of the first overtime, the score was 140-140. Both Trae Young and Zach LaVine missed shots to give their respective teams a win.
Fatigue set in during the second overtime frame. Both teams only scored 7 point each. Otto Porter, Jr. missed a layup to put the Bulls ahead.
“I’ve never been a part of a game that long,” said Zach LaVine from the Bulls. “I air-balled one because I was so damn tired.”
The teams went scoreless in the final minute of the third overtime. With the game tied at 151-151, it looked like the game might not end.
Lauri Markkanen stepped up in the fourth overtime to hit a couple key shots and free throws. He iced the game and the Bulls went on to win 168-161. Markkanen finished the game with 31 points in 54 minutes. He went 9-for-18 from the floor.
Otto Porter scored 31 as well for the Bulls. He had a rough night, hitting only 10-for-25 from the field.
49 for Trae
Trae Young finished the night with 49 points in 55 minutes. The rookie from Oklahoma went 17-for-33 from the floor, including 6-for-13 from three-point land. He added 16 assists and fell short of a triple-double with 8 rebounds.
For the season, Young is averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 assists per game. His PER is only 15.65.
Young has been on a heater since the All-Star Break, scoring 30-plus in all but one game. Young dropped 36 points or more in the last three games. He’s the first rookie to score 120 points in three games since the Allen Iverson’s rookie season in 1997.
Young also put himself in an elite group of rookies who scored 45-plus points with at least 10 assists and five rebounds. The last one to that? Michael Jordan in 1985. Any time you are mentioned in the same breath as MJ, you are doing something right.
“That was a fun game to play in,” said Young about the 4 OT marathon. “Probably one of the most fun games I’ve played in my career. I’m proud of the way we fought even though we came up short.”
Young got off to a slow start this season. The rookie looked like a rookie, but made adjustments along the way and adapted to the rigors of the NBA. He scored 35 points earlier in the season, which was the most by a rookie since Steph Curry. In the second half of the season, Young has played with better consistency. He’s hitting a higher percentage of his shots. He developed a knack for shooting treys off a high pick-and-roll.
Doncic vs. Young
The Hawks traded Luka Doncic for Trae Young and another first-round draft pick. Doncic got off to a hot start and Hawks fans started to wonder if Mark Cuban got the better end of that deal. Doncic is an essential lock to win Rookie of the Year, but Young is a close second.
The way Young has been playing in the second half is starting to make you wonder if the Hawks were the ones who pulled a fast one on Cuban and got the best of the Doncic/Young trade? The swap worked out for both sides. I guess we will have to find out and see who the Hawks select in the upcoming daft to determine the real winner in this swap.