Trae Young scores 48, Atlanta tops Milwaukee in Game 1 of ECF

Milwaukee lost for the first time at home in the postseason and in doing so fell behind 0-1 to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hawks’ star Trae Young scored a game-high 48 points and dished out 11 assists as Atlanta beat the Bucks 116-113 Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum. It was a playoff career-high for the third-year point guard and it left him averaging 30.5 points per game this postseason. He did plenty of damage from the free throw line, making just one fewer free throw (11) than the Bucks did (12) as a team.

Milwaukee took a 105-98 lead with 4:18 left and had a 111-110 lead in the final minute until Atlanta’s Clint Capela grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in with 29.8 to go. Pat Connaughton air-balled a 3-pointer on the next possession, and after the teams exchanged free throws — four for Young and two for Giannis Antetokounmpo — Khris Middleton missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

Shooting was a problem much of the night for the Bucks as a team, as they hit just 22.2% from beyond the arc. That included Middleton going 0-for-9, just the second time he had failed to make one from deep in the playoffs.

Antetokounmpo finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, while Jrue Holiday was big, scoring 33 points and handing out 10 assists. Bobby Portis gave Milwaukee 11 points and eight boards off the bench.

But the Bucks struggled to keep Atlanta off the glass, getting outrebounded 51-45, and giving up 12 offensive rebounds. That included nine between Capela and John Collins, several of them in key situations in the fourth quarter. Capela ended up with 19 rebounds overall and Collins had 15.

This is the third straight series that Atlanta has been the underdog only to grab a 1-0 series lead on the road. The Hawks went on to beat New York in five games and Philadelphia in seven.

For Milwaukee, it’s the second straight series that it has lost Game 1, though the previous loss came against Brooklyn on the road. It was the Bucks first home loss overall since April 19.

Game 2 is Friday night at Fiserv Forum.