PHILADELPHIA -- The Hawks faced the new-look, yet-shorthanded 76ers on Friday night but struggled to put them away. But with a big game from guard Trae Young, where he continued to embed his name in the history books, the Hawks downed the 76ers 127-121 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five observations:

1. As the first half wound to a close, Young looked to blow by Sixers rookie Terquavion Smith but couldn’t quite shake him. Bogdan Bogdanovic took some pressure off by coming from the corner and drawing a double team of Smith and Kelly Oubre.

Bogdanovic quickly got the ball back to Young and he drained a wide-open 3 from the corner to put the Hawks up 73-56. He then turned to the baseline and shared some words with Sixers fans sitting in the stands.

Young finished the night with 37 points and 12 assists, while making five 3s. It was his 30th career game with 30-plus points, five-plus assists and five-plus threes, tying Damian Lillard for second-most. He has also put up his 154th straight game with five or more assists, to tie Magic Johnson for the third-longest streak.

“When I grew up, watching basketball, playing basketball, I never really thought about things like that,” Young said. “But to be here now and being in certain games where I have (performances) like I did tonight and then be on lists with guys like Magic and it’s just crazy. It’s just surreal. And it’s just more motivation to keep going and not stop.”

2. Despite the 76ers not having Joel Embiid or Tyrese Maxey, while also integrating new faces into their lineup, the Hawks could not put them away. The Hawks led by as many as 22 points but the 76ers, who started recently acquired Buddy Hield and Cam Payne, chipped away.

They 76ers ramped up their defense and forced the Hawks to take tougher shots. It allowed them to go on a 19-8 run and pull the game within 117-111 after a running layup from Tobias Harris with 3:50 to play.

On top of that, the Hawks collectively could not tap into enough of the offense that got them rolling early in the matchup. But three straight buckets from Young and the team finding some defense to hold a 90-second, seven-point advantage did just enough.

“This is a tough game, and they’re gonna shoot 3s and we knew it and we had a run there where they made a bunch in a row and really got back in the game,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “But I thought we responded at the right times.”

3. The Hawks had been red hot early in the game though, making just over 55% of their shots from 3 at one point. But they cooled significantly in the fourth quarter, going 0-for-5 from distance and making just five field goals.

They looked comfortable early, as they found their spots from 3-point distance, going 16-of-31 in the first three quarters. It helped the Hawks get out to a 22-point lead with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter and eventually a 100-86 lead by the end of the period.

4. With the Hawks returning to action on Saturday night for the second of back-to-back games, putting the shorthanded 76ers away early would allow them to clear the bench. But with the mental mistakes piling up in the second half and the 76ers closing in on them, the Hawks needed to lean on their starters for the majority of the fourth.

Young played the entire fourth quarter, with Bogdanovic, Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu logging nine minutes. The Hawks entered the night shorthanded, as well, with Dejounte Murray (lower back tightness) and Clint Capela (left adductor strain) out. Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews also did not play due to illness.

5. Okongwu provided the Hawks with a strong night, showing his versatility on both ends of the floor. He moved everywhere as he moved out to the perimeter to guard Harris or Hield but he also got back into the paint to try and slow down 76ers center Paul Reed.

“He’s got really good instincts, and you’re seeing some of his versatility on the offensive end,” Snyder said.”

Okongwu scored 21 and had eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

Stat to know

77 - Trae Young had his 77th game with 30-plus points and 10-plus assists, breaking a tie with Tiny Archibald for the fifth-most in NBA history.


“The game got close and he made a couple of plays for us that were terrific. And we need that from him.” -- Quin Snyder on Trae Young in the fourth.

Up next

The Hawks head back to State Farm Arena to host the Rockets on Saturday.

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