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Trae Young and Zion Williamson among those who made NBA All-Star claims




The NBA will announce the starters for the 2021 All-Star Game on Thursday, and there has been a lot of discussion about who should be on the roster. But Wednesday night, some of the league’s rising stars took to court to plead for a spot in the big game.

Here’s a look at how some of those players fared:

What he did

As Atlanta had lost seven of the eight in Wednesday night’s game in Boston – including some decided late in the fourth quarter – the Hawks desperately had to grab and win a game ahead of the fourth against the Celtics by nine. Trae Young made sure there wouldn’t be another repeat of those previous issues in this episode, scoring 16 of his 40 points to ensure Atlanta’s victory, 122-114.

Young scored 12 consecutive points for Atlanta in the middle of the fourth quarter, including on two drives that resulted in layups – one on which Boston wentaltending – that cut Atlanta’s lead to 10 points after the Celtics cut it to six. . With Marcus Smart, Boston’s only qualitative point guard defender, sitting out due to a calf injury, Young got where he wanted during the game and caused extensive damage to the Boston defense.

What they said

“We talked about that with Trae,” said Hawks assistant coach Nate McMillan. “He has to show that growth in managing a game whether we’re going up or down in the fourth quarter. We talked about his sales, and I thought he did well tonight when we didn’t have something early. we organized and executed the trajectory I took what the defense gave him I didn’t know he had 40 points but he just managed well at managing both offense and defense I thought he had set a pace that we wanted and did well while running the trajectory. ” Tim Bontemps

What he did

On a night when no one else had it for the Celtics, Jayson Tatum single-handedly held Boston in the game, finishing with 35 points on 11-for-21 shooting and 10-for-11 from the foul line. six rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes. Tatum needed such an effort, as his game had slumped lately. He had said before Tuesday’s win against the visiting Denver Nuggets that he still felt the aftereffects of a positive test for COVID-19 last month.



Jayson Tatum uses a step back to take a difficult 3-point shot off the touchline while the defender is floating in the area.

With Kemba Walker sitting out the second half of a back-to-back and Marcus Smart with a calf load, Boston was really thanks to Tatum and Jaylen Brown as far as players can either make their own shot or those for others. That imbalance has been a problem for Boston all season and part of the reason the Celtics are now 14-14 in the season – despite Tatum and Brown likely heading for All-Star berths – after losing to Atlanta.

What he said

“Anything worth achieving is not easy,” said Tatum. “We’re 14-14. It wasn’t easy. But we believe, we believe in each other, we believe in ourselves, and we’ll find out.” Tim Bontemps



Zion Williamson gets the ball and ends up with a big dunk at the edge.

What he did

Wednesday’s performance of the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson was another case in which the 20-year-old felt increasingly comfortable as his burgeoning career takes shape. Williamson tied his career high with 36 points, adding six boards and four assists against Portland, a 126-124 loss to Damian Lillard and the visiting Trail Blazers. Williamson was 12 of 18 from the field and 11 of 15 from the foul line.

In his last nine games, Williamson has averaged 28.1 points at 69.3% from the field and 78.9% from the foul line, with 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. His play is evolving – the Pelicans are 6-0 this season when he has at least five assists – and his offside also takes a step forward, as he has at least one 3-pointer in five of his past 11 games.

What he said

“My teammates trust that I will go out and play the best for them,” said Williamson. “We have put ourselves in a great position to win the game. Being in that position, I am always ready. When my name is called, I am always ready. I never want to disappoint my teammates. It doesn’t always work that way.” But it’s these moments that drive us to get better. ” Andrew Lopez

What he did

In what was a breakout season, Zach LaVine scored 37 points on 14-of-22 shots on Wednesday, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. More importantly, he made a massive comeback that led to a Bulls victory over the visiting Pistons. LaVine posted 15 points in the third quarter to help Chicago bounce back from a 25 point deficit in the second quarter. Chicago beat Detroit 27-12 in the third quarter and went on to win 105-102.



Zach LaVine drops dunk after dunk vs. the Pistons.

At 28.5 points per game, LaVine is on average almost three points more than his previous career high as he has taken his offensive play to a new level. Overall, he shoots 52% from the field and 43.7% from outside the arc, both his career best by a healthy margin.

What he said

“The best part of the comeback was that we were more competitive and more aggressive,” said LaVine. “I think we played with some, not with despair, but we knew we couldn’t make many mistakes. And we had to go out in the third quarter and play the right way from the start, otherwise we wouldn’t have a chance. to win. “

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