Atlanta (USA), May 12 (EFE) .- The point guard Trae Young scored 33 points and power forward John Collins hit a triple with 24.4 seconds left in regulation time of the game that the Atlanta Hawks won by 120- 116 to the Washington Wizards and secured a place in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2017.
The Atlanta team entered the game tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and are looking to solidify home advantage in the first round.
That’s still up in the air, but the Hawks are definitely heading to the playoffs after going through massive and difficult rebuilding work that still seemed to be in the works when the team fired coach Lloyd Pierce shortly before the All-Star break as they had a losing record of 14-20.
Under the direction of interim coach Nate McMillan, who should receive strong consideration in the coach of the year vote, the Hawks have established a winning record of 25-11 and become a tough opponent heading into playoff competition.
Young has scored at least 30 points in three straight games and five of his last seven and is 22 this season, while the Hawks won their ninth straight home game and improved to 17-2 in their last 19 State Farm appearances. Sand.
Collins finished with 18 points. Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points as the Hawks’ second leading scorer.
All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was once again the best of the Wizards, getting a double-double of 34 points and 15 assists, but far from a new triple-double, and insufficient to avoid defeat.
The Wizards, who have had the last five losses by a cumulative 10 points, remain 10th in the Eastern Conference and depend on themselves to secure a place in the entry tournament that allows them to continue in the fight for the seventh or eighth place that They give them the right to play the playoffs.
Two nights after breaking Oscar Roberson’s record with his 182th career triple-double, Westbrook fell slightly short of 183. He was limited to five rebounds.
The Wizards were up 87-100, matching their biggest lead of the night, when Latvian forward Davis Bertans hit a 3-pointer off a Westbrook layup with just over 10 minutes to go.
But the Wizards couldn’t hold out the rest of the way, missing a couple of 3-point attempts that would have been instrumental in extending the lead.
Swiss center Clint Capela started by blocking Westbrook, sending the Hawks on a counter attack the other way. Young saw Collins alone in the corner for the 3-pointer that put the Hawks ahead 117-116.
Brazilian guard Raúl Neto missed a shot of just over three meters. Guard-forward Solomon Hill rebounded, fouled and scored two more free throws.
Neto, who continued to start, played 29 minutes in which he contributed 14 points after scoring 5 of 10 shots from the field, missed three attempts, and was perfect 4-4 from the personnel line.
The Brazilian international guard also captured three rebounds, distributed two assists and committed five personal fouls.
(c) EFE Agency