A dominant performance by Trae Young helped the Hawks to a 116-113 win over the Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Next up: Game 2 in the best-of-seven series will be Friday in Milwaukee at 8:30 p.m. on TNT.

ExploreMichael Cunningham: Trae Young again proves he’s among ‘top guys in the league’

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. This victory marked a major milestone — it’s the first win in a conference final series since the franchise moved to Atlanta for the 1968-69 season. The last time the Hawks advanced to the conference finals, they were swept 4-0 by the Cavaliers in the 2014-15 season (a Hawks team guided by current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer).

“It’s special,” Young said. “I wanted to achieve things like that when I was a rookie coming in. As a rookie, you don’t know how hard it is until you have to actually do it, so to achieve an accomplishment like that in winning our first of hopefully many conference (finals) games, it’s a great accomplishment for our team and the city.”

2. Young was unstoppable, got anything he wanted and he did it with flair. He threw lobs off the glass to John Collins. He gave a little shimmy before sinking 3-point shots. He wove through defenders at will. Young tallied 48 points (setting a new playoff-high), 11 assists and seven rebounds, finishing as a plus-10.

This was the third time in his first postseason run that Young has reached the 25-point mark by halftime. He played the entire third quarter and took control of the game, helping the Hawks win that period, 34-26, after a shaky first half, carrying a three-point lead into the fourth quarter. After playing all the third quarter, Young sat out until the 8:23 mark of the fourth, then played the rest of the game.

“He is a big part of this organization taking that next step, because he is the guy that is going to lead us to that style of basketball,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “... Starting probably the last series, he’s calling most of the plays, and I want that because I want him to have a feel for what’s going on, how to get his teammates involved, and he’s done a really good job of doing that.”

3. The Hawks showed they’re a fourth-quarter team once again under McMillan, who took over for Lloyd Pierce on March 1. The Bucks surged back to seize a seven-point lead with 4:18 to play, but Atlanta had a response ready in crunch time: with 1:39 left, after two offensive rebounds (one by Collins and one by center Clint Capela), Young found Collins for a corner 3 to make it a one-point game. The Hawks took a 112-111 lead off a Capela putback, Young made four free throws and they held on for the win. Collins had a double-double of 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Capela had a double-double of 12 points and a career playoff-high 19 rebounds.

4. Entering this series having to contend with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Hawks knew defending the paint would be critical. They got the win, but still gave up 70 points in the paint (to their own 54), something they’ll focus on moving forward. Antetokounmpo nearly had a triple-double, leading Milwaukee with 34 points and 12 rebounds, with nine assists and two blocks.

ExploreJohn Collins has a highlight game against Bucks, too

5. After struggling with right knee soreness toward the end of 76ers series, Bogdan Bogdanovic was available to play Wednesday and started. But, he didn’t look like himself out there, a reliable creator and shooter, and really hasn’t the past few games. In Game 1 vs. the Bucks, he added four points (1-6 FG, 0-2 from 3-point range, 2-2 FT), two assists and three rebounds, with three steals and two turnovers. His presence and availability is huge for the Hawks, even if he’s not 100%, McMillan pointed out.

Also on the injury front, wing Cam Reddish was available to play for the first time since February, having missed time due to right Achilles soreness. He didn’t get on the court, with Solomon Hill and Tony Snell still ahead of him in the rotation, but it’s encouraging for the Hawks that one of their better defenders is getting healthy.

“He is giving us everything,” McMillan said of Bogdanovic’s efforts. “It’s pretty obvious that there’s some soreness there but this is the way this team has been built. He does not want to sit out. He’s trying to give us whatever minutes he can give us, and it really has helped us the last few games, being able to have him out there, because he’s still a threat.”

Stat of the game

4 (Collins and Capela each grabbed two offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, which proved critical to the win)

Star of the game

Young (dominated with 48 points, adding 11 assists and seven rebounds)


“Trae’s a bold dude, to be frank with you. He lives for those moments. I don’t know what more people needs to see from him in the playoffs to let them know that he’s a big-time player. He loves the bright lights... If it helps him make the shot, then keep shimmying.” (Collins on Young’s success and flair in Game 1)

Hawks-Bucks series

Game 1: Hawks 116, Bucks 113

Game 2, Friday, June 25: Hawks at Bucks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 3, Sunday, June 27: Bucks at Hawks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 4, Tuesday, June 29: Bucks at Hawks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 5*, Thursday, July 1: Hawks at Bucks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 6*, Saturday, July 3: Bucks at Hawks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 7*, Monday, July 5: Hawks at Bucks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

* — If necessary