WASHINGTON (AP) — Trae Young entered Friday night’s game against the Washington Wizards as the NBA’s fourth leading scorer, averaging 29.2 points per game. In the Atlanta Hawks’ last game, Young had a triple-double with 42 points in a loss to the Houston Rockets.
The Wizards knew they had to contain Young, and they pulled it off, limiting him to 19 points. Young missed all seven of his 3-point attempts in Washington’s 111-101 win over Atlanta.
Gary Payton II drew the assignment to guard Young, and he watched plenty of tape of Young’s terrific game Wednesday night. Payton signed with the injury-riddled Wizards on Dec. 23 and has started eight of his 10 games.
“Most of his shots come from 3s,” Payton said. “That’s how he gets going. We just tried to limit his 3s and make him take deep 3s. That’s what we did.”
Young has to carry much of the offensive burden for the Hawks (8-31), who have the worst record in the NBA, and lost for the 14th time in 16 games.
“Gary’s a really good defender,” Young said. “He’s obviously known for his defense. A lot of shots were self-inflicted. I couldn’t knock down shots. There were some shots that I had, and I had wide open layups that I just didn’t make.”
While Washington shot just 37.5%, they did some other things right. They grabbed 57 rebounds, including a season-high 19 offensive boards, and committed just nine turnovers, with only one in the final quarter.
The Wizards trailed 93-90 midway in the fourth quarter and outscored the Hawks 21-8 to secure the win.
Jordan McRae scored 29 points but shot just 10 for 26 and had a career-high eight rebounds and six assists. Troy Brown Jr. added 18 and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta (8-31), which has the worst record in the NBA, lost for the 14th time in 16 games. Trae Young, who had 42 points in a defeat to Houston on Wednesday, led the Hawks with 19 points.
John Collins had his second straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta, and Alex Len had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Hawks: F/C Bruno Fernando missed his second straight game due to personal reasons. Coach Lloyd Pierce said there’s no timetable for his return. … F Jabari Parker was out for the fourth consecutive game with a right shoulder injury. Pierce said Parker began treatment on the shoulder Friday. “He’ll be evaluated, I think, in another 10-12 days as to where he is, and what we can do from there,” Pierce said.
Wizards: G Bradley Beal (right leg) was out for the seventh time in the last eight games. “Getting better. I know I’ve been saying that for a while,” coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re going to be very cautious. We’re not going to put him out there until he’s 100%. He’s not ready yet.” … F Davis Bertans returned after missing nine games with a right quad strain. Bertans played 21 minutes and scored 14 points. … C Thomas Bryant, who hasn’t played since Dec. 3 with a stress reaction in his right foot is nearing a return, Brooks said. … G John Wall, who hasn’t played this season in his rehab from Achilles tendon surgery, played 3-on-3 on Thursday. “I thought he looked great,” Brooks said.
Isaiah Thomas is in a rough stretch for Washington. He shot just 2 for 16 and in his last two games is just 4 for 24.
“He’s going to have to bounce back,” Brooks said. “We’re going to need better scoring from Isaiah and Ish.”
Ish Smith, who had been on a tear, was only 4 for 15 from the field, and in his two last games, is 8 for 28.
Pierce thought this was a game his team should have won.
“They shot 36%,” he said. “Those are the games you’re supposed to win except for the effort department.”
Hawks: Visit Brooklyn Nets on Sunday
Wizards: Host the Utah Jazz on Sunday afternoon
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports