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Young regroups with 41 points as Hawks hand Raptors 2nd consecutive blowout loss

Trae Young knows what the Atlanta Hawks need from him to improve their playoff position, so it was time for a bounce-back game.

Young returned to his All-Star form by scoring 41 points and the Hawks rode a dominant third quarter to a 127-100 triumph over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Young was 17 of 24 from the field, 6 of 6 from the line and had 11 assists. He shot only 3 of 17 in Atlanta’s 112-108 loss at Chicago on Thursday night, his first match after starting in the All-Star Game.

“I knew I had to be better for my team and I try to do that each and every game,” Young said. “I wanted to bounce back and felt I did.”

Entering the game, the Hawks were 10th and the Raptors were seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

Young rebounded by making his first four shots in his fifth game of the season scoring more than 40 points. He set a career high with 56 points at Portland on Jan. 3.

It was the 23-year-old Young’s 22nd career game with at least 40 points, tying Tracy McGrady for sixth-most in NBA history for a player under the age of 24.

Young posted his 10th career game with at least 40 points and 10 assists, passing Michael Jordan for ninth-most all-time.

“I never imagined that,” Young said before adding “if we don’t win none of this stuff matters, especially to me.”

Fred VanVleet led Toronto with 24 points and nine assists after being listed as questionable with right knee soreness. Precious Achiuwa added a season-high 21 points.

Onyeka Okongwu matched his season high with 17 points for Atlanta, which pulled away by outscoring Toronto 38-16 in the decisive third period.

The teams traded dramatic runs in the first half.

The Raptors enjoyed the first hot streak, scoring 13 unanswered points for a 27-22 lead. Achiuwa started the run with a 3-pointer and capped the streak with a jam. Toronto stretched the advantage to 45-33 early in the second period before the Hawks took command with an 18-0 run to lead 51-45.

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