Atlanta’s Trae Young sprains ankle, but X-rays negative

Atlanta's Trae Young had 20 points and 14 assists before leaving last night's OT loss at New York with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.

Editor’s Note on Friday, 4/23/21 at 10:50 a.m. Eastern: Trae Young’s MRI results were announced early Thursday night, revealing a Grade 2 sprain. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said it was “the best possible outcome for the Hawks.” Young is ‘out’ of Friday’s home game vs. Miami, but he should be able to return whenever the swelling goes and down and he’s no longer in discomfort. Clint Capela is ‘questionable’ vs. the Heat due to the back issue described below.

Atlanta was on a 9-2 run both straight up and against the spread going into Madison Square Garden in New York City last night. The Knicks were on a seven-game winning streak and had covered the number in 10 consecutive contests.

With the Hawks one-half game ahead of New York, the fourth spot (for now, that is) in the Eastern Conference was on the line.

Nate McMillan’s bunch has dealt with injuries galore all season. Five players — Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn, De’Andre Hunter, Tony Snell and Cam Reddish — have been out for more than a week, and three of those players have been out for more than a month.

Atlanta led by five at the end of the first quarter, by two at intermission and by seven going into the final stanza. Trae Young was cooking at MSG on a Wednesday night, compiling 20 points, four steals, two rebounds and 14 assists compared to only one turnover.

However, with 1:13 left in the third quarter and Atlanta holding an eight-point lead, Young landed awkwardly and sprained his ankle.

He wouldn’t return. Fortunately, X-rays were negative, but he’ll have an MRI this morning and the results should be available at some point Thursday afternoon.

Young appeared optimistic when he chimed in on social media late last night.

Without Young and with Clint Capela dealing with back pain from a hard fall, in addition to John Collins missing overtime because he was on a minutes restriction in just his third game back from an ankle injury that kept him out for two weeks, the Hawks were missing their horses when last night’s game went to overtime.

New York started the extra session with an 8-0 run and captured a 137-127 win as a 1.5-point home underdog. The Knicks are off for two days before hosting Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

The Raptors will attempt to end New York’s eight-game winning streak and 11-0 ATS run.

The Hawks? They’ll keep their fingers crossed that Young’s MRI reveals positive news later today.

Atlanta will also hope that Capela, who had 25 points, 22 rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist without a turnover last night, will be okay before Friday’s home date with Miami.

Julius Randle was the catalyst for the Knicks in the OT victory, producing 40 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while draining 6-of-8 attempts from 3-point range. Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickly came off the bench to score 20 points apiece.

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