The Rundown: Hawks, Pelicans advance to playoffs

Published April 16, 2022, 2:20 PMRenee Ticzon

The Hawks leaned on Trae Young to beat the Cavs for the 8th spot in the East, while Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans to a playoff berth in the West.


Hawks 107, Cavaliers 101
Pelicans 105, Clippers 101

What went down

The Atlanta Hawks took a 107-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to face the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

Trae Young proved yet again why he is one of the best guards in the league. He had a slow start, making just six points on -of-11 shooting with no 3-pointers. However, Young bounced back big time as he finished one dime shy of a double-double with 38 points, three rebounds, and nine assists. The superstar guard went beyond just an incredible individual performance as he scored or assisted on 43 of Atlanta’s 56 second-half points.

Before the Young blowout, the Cavaliers had full control of the match behind Lauri Markkanen’s 17 points in the first half. There was no stopping the Cavaliers as they stretched the lead to as far as 14 points.

However, the Hawks stunned Cavaliers fans as they dominated the second half even without Clint Capela, who made an early exit because of a hyperextended knee. Atlanta ramped up their play on both sides of the floor, outscoring Cleveland 33-23 behind Young’s 16-point explosion.

The Hawks carried their momentum into the final period, opening the quarter with an 11-0 run. The Cavaliers did enough to cut the lead to one point with less than a minute and a half remaining, but the Hawks eventually got the win thanks to their postseason experience.

While Young stole the show with his outstanding performance,  Onyeka Okongwu and Delon Wright were the x-factors in today’s matchup. Okongwu delivered when Capela got hurt. He finished with just two points, but grabbed nine boards and was a plus-21 in 29 minutes of play.

On the other hand, Wright locked Darius Garland down on defense. The young All-Star only made eight points in the second half, shooting just 4-of-13 from the field. Wright finished with two points, six rebounds, and a plus-24.

Big-time baller

The New Orleans Pelicans returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2019. They couldn’t have done it without Brandom Ingram. In the first quarter, he dropped 16 points on 8-of-9 shots. He ended the night with 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists. His game was extremely efficient, going 14-of-21 from the field.

What he said

Young was keeping it real as he talked about his disappointing first half and how he was able to bounce back strong in the second.

“I felt like I was letting my team down in the first half. I knew I needed to make more shots for my teammates,” said Young. “Nobody had to say anything to me. I knew the work I put in, the confidence I have. I just got to go out there and show it.”

Did you see that?

Ingram had a great night but he had to work hard for everything with Batum all over him.