ATLANTA – All year long, the Bulls have watched him be a steady contributor and veteran influence off the bench.
Finiding new life under head coach Billy Donovan, Thaddeus Young has seen an increase in points (12 per game), rebounds (6.1 per game), and assists (4.2 per game) in 59 games this season coming into Saturday.
For an 18th time this season, the forward was called upon to start on Saturday against the Hawks due to a hip injury to Nikola Vucevic which had bothered him in Friday’s loss to the Bucks.
In his role, the veteran did what he could to lift the Bulls up against Atlanta at State Farm Arena.
Young was extremely productive in his 33 minutes on Saturday night, tying his season-high of 20 points with nine assists and seven rebounds. He along with Patrick Williams (19 points) helped the Bulls to a nine-point halftime lead and, even after a big Hawks’ third quarter run, kept the Bulls in the contest.
But like a few times before, Trae Young was too much for them, scoring 33 points and helping Atlanta pull away for the 108-97 victory on Saturday night.
The third-straight loss for the Bulls keeps them three games behind the Wizards for the final Eastern Conference play-in spot with eight games to go.
With solid efforts from Young along with Williams, the Bulls were in the lead heading to the break but things fell apart in the third quarter. Atlanta outscored the Bulls 28-12 in that span, though the visitors weren’t about to go away.
Young’s hoop cut that lead down to five with just under eight minutes to go but that’s as close as they would get despite his best efforts all evening.