Updated: Young better, but Hawks lose to Knicks

Video: A look at Hawks guard Trae Young in college.

Trae Young was hoping a change of scenery would help his shooting woes.

It did.

The play-making ability of Young, however, hasn’t gone away.

Young went 4 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 9 from 3-point range, for 21 points as the Hawks lost to the Knicks, 91-89, in their opening game of the Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday. Young added 11 assists for a double-double in his best game of his pro career.

Young’s shooting woes were well-documented as the Hawks lost all three games in the recently Utah Jazz Summer League. Young, the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, was 12 of 52, including 3 of 24 from 3-point range, in those games.

So Young matched his 3-point total from three games in Salt Lake City in just one game in Las Vegas.

John Collins led all scorers with 30 points and eight rebounds in a dominant performance. Tyler Dorsey had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Collins described a different Young now that he has actual games under his belt.

“I think he just got the jitters out,” Collins said. “It’s always tough when you’ve got the whole world watching you in your first professional games. He put a lot of pressure on himself and now the pressure is off. He got those games out of the way and now he can just settle in and play.”

Young had trouble getting separation for his shot in the early going, most of which was spent being pestered defensively by Knicks’ second-year guard Frank Ntilikina. Young took a couple long 3-pointers to loosen the pressure. More importantly, he created for teammates. He found Collins with a no-look pass on the pick-and-roll off a double team. He made a long outlet pass to Dorsey for a drive to the basket. He drove the lane and passed to the corner to Jaylen Morris for a 3-pointer. Young gave the 3-point sign as he ran down court after that assist.

“I’ve gotten a lot of open looks,” Young said of his early woes. “Separation hasn’t been a problem. It’s been knocking down the shots. This is only my fourth 5-on-5 game. Throughout the who draft process I was in 1-on-0 workouts. This is a lot different getting into game mode. Now that I’m getting more into a rhythm, getting more under my feet, I’m just trying to get better every day.”

Hawks assistant Chris Jent, who is coaching the summer league team in Las Vegas, said the team went with a small rotation to open up space for Young.

“We opened the floor a little bit and helped him out by playing some small ball,” Jent said. “He was aggressive. He played with a lot of downhill energy and that allows him to see things.

“He has been defended by some pretty good performers. Frank is a pretty good defender. That doesn’t help you. We have to help him. We have guys who screen him and get that separation for him. In the NBA, yeah, if you don’t have space it’s tough to operate.”

Collins and Dorsey had 13 points apiece in the first half. Dorsey added nine rebounds before intermission. Young had 10 first-half points, five assists and three rebounds. The Hawks trailed 22-12 after one quarter but had a 33-point second quarter to take a 45-40 lead intermission.

The Knicks took a 66-59 lead into the final quarter. The Hawks couldn’t completely overcome the deficit in dropping to 0-4 in summer league action.

The Hawks play their second preliminary round game against the Trail Blazers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.