Trae Young hit what’s become his patented floating jumper in the paint to score the Hawks’ first points of Game 2. It came with 9:49 left in the first quarter. Young’s next floater attempt came nearly five minutes later and it went in to cut Milwaukee’s lead to five points.

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The Hawks’ star would attempt just three more floaters, hitting one, in the rest of the 21:33 he was on the court in the blowout loss to the Bucks Friday night.

Just two days after Young was on top of the basketball world with a 48-point, 11-assist performance in Game 1, his night was plagued with bad passes, poor shots and turnovers in just three quarters of work as he sat on the bench for the entirety of the fourth quarter. He finished with just 15 points, three assists and nine turnovers.

“I take complete responsibility for what happened tonight,” Young said. “Taking care of the ball is something I have to be better at. I will be better at it. They just upped their physicality tonight and we have to do the same.”

Young’s career-high turnover rate added to the Hawks’ 20 total turnovers.

The Bucks scored 25 points off turnovers for quick transition offense that left the Hawks walking back to inbound the ball, staring at the scoreboard as the margin quickly grew out of reach.

“We never got into a rhythm or were able to establish ourselves on the offensive end of the floor,” Hawks interim head coach Nate McMillan said. “We were not good. Their pressure bothered us. They had 27 fast-break points.”

Bucks 125, Hawks 91 (box score)

As it has since he first joined the Hawks, the offense goes through Young. Whether by him scoring or assisting, he runs the offense.

So on a night like Friday where he wasn’t on, the offense had no answers to counter the Bucks’ 64.6% shooting in the first half.

“They didn’t do anything too much different, they just played more aggressive,” Young said. “I’ve seen physicality from players all through the playoffs and it’s nothing new. Just have to be able to respond.”

Something that Milwaukee’s star point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo said before Game 2 that they needed to keep Young off the free throw line. They accomplished that, as Young took just three free throws and one of those was on a technical foul.

Young’s lack of an offensive rhythm was also contributed to the tight defense played by Jrue Holiday. From the time Young touched the ball in the backcourt, Holiday was right in his pocket. Screens were set higher than they had been in the playoffs and the Hawks were forced to work with shorter shot clocks because of it.

“I think they did what they needed to do,” McMillan said. “They came out with intensity and a lot of pressure. We didn’t execute as a group. You have nights like that. This is something that we just have to move on.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Milwaukee Bucks defender Brook Lopez, left, forces a turnover by Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Milwaukee Bucks defender Brook Lopez, left, forces a turnover by Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Milwaukee Bucks defender Brook Lopez, left, forces a turnover by Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Young was subbed out with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter. He put his mask on, zipped up his jacket with a built-in shoulder heater and tried to cheer on the reserves that played the rest of the way.

He thought about the things he did wrong, but also about his excitement to return to Atlanta for a Game 3 Sunday night.

“You can’t erase it,” Young said with a half-smile. “You have to learn from it. Every game, every loss is a learning experience. It’s an opportunity for you to learn. Tonight I can learn a lot. I can learn how to be better at taking care of the ball.”