CLEVELAND, OH – If there is one sports city that has such a celebrated rogues gallery of villains, it is Cleveland. From Willie Mays, Michael Jordan and John Elway to Steph Curry. Thanks to his 30-point explosion in the second half, Trae Young can now add his name to the list.

After being basically ineffective in the first half on the road in front of 20,000-plus screaming fans at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Young erupted for 32 of his 38 points in the second half, including a shimmy dagger on the Cavs’ C logo to send the upstart Cavaliers home in a 107-101 road win.


With the win, the Hawks advance to face the top-seeded Miami Heat down in South Beach, while the Cavaliers enter the off-season with a lot of upside and potential, but a bitter aftertaste in having the visiting hawks down by as many as 16 points, minus their starting center in Clint Capela and a struggling Young.

But as all Cleveland sports villains tend to do, Young found a way to break Cleveland’s jaded sports heart.

For the Cavs, at 44-38, it was their best season post-Lebron since 1998, when they lost to the Indiana Pacer in four games. Cleveland was led in scoring by Lauri Markkanen with 26 points, including going 6-12 from three-point range, All-Star point guard Darius Garland added 21 points and rookie Evan Mobley added 18 points and eight rebounds.

New Orleans Pelicans 105 Los Angeles Clippers 101: In the West 8th Seed Game, the Pelicans overcame the loss of Zion Williamson, a 1-12 start anda  first-year head coach to outlast the host Los Angeles Clippers out in SoCal 105-101 to clinch the final playoff spot and the right to face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns.

Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 30 points, six rebounds and six assists, trade acquisition C.J. McCollum added 19 points and Larry Nance tallied a double-double in scoring 14 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The Clippers, who were without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, were led by Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris’ 27 points and Norman Powell adding 17 points.

 

 

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