Two teams have tried and failed. Now the Philadelphia 76ers get their opportunity to stop Atlanta point guard Trae Young.
The Sixers visit the Hawks on Monday and will try to slow down the mercurial second-year player, who has scored 77 points in the first two games. Young posted 38 in the opening night win over Detroit and followed that with 39 points and nine assists in Saturday's home-opening win over Orlando.
"I'm just trying to help our team win," Young said. "Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes to help my team win."
Young is the first player in NBA history to total at least 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in each of his team's first two games. He averaged 23.5 points in four games against the Sixers last season.
Young, a first-round pick a year ago out of Oklahoma, is picking up where he left off when he led all rookies with nine 30-point games in 2018-19. His 38-point effort against the Pistons was the most by a Hawk in a season opener since Dominique Wilkins scored 39 against the Nets to tip off the 1986-87 season.
Young was especially strong down the stretch against Orlando and helped Atlanta overcome a five-point deficit with 6:43 left. Young scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and drained a 3-pointer -- high off the glass as the shot clock was expiring -- with 26 seconds remaining that put the game out of reach.
"Special kid," Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce said. "He loves that moment, loves the end of the game, loves the end of the shot clock. It's nice to have a guy that appreciates and likes the moment and wants it."
The Sixers have benefited from the addition of free agent Al Horford, who began his career with the Hawks. Philadelphia signed Horford to help boost the team's production when Joel Embiid is unable to play. That didn't take long. Embiid missed the second game of the season with a right ankle injury and Horford responded with 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Having Tobias Harris available from the start of the season has helped, too. The veteran, who joined the Sixers last season after a trade from the L.A. Clippers, brings another outside shooting threat to the lineup. He scored 29 against Detroit on Friday, including four 3-pointers.
"It's a brand-new season -- ready to go," Harris said. "Ready to play and ready to take down whoever is in front of us."
Harris averaged 18.2 points in 27 games with the Sixers last season. He is averaging 22.0 points and 11.0 rebounds and shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
Atlanta had great success against Philadelphia in 2018-19, winning three of the four meetings during the regular season, twice in the last two weeks before the Sixers began a playoff run that landed them in the Eastern Conference finals.
Embiid's ankle will be evaluated again Monday. Atlanta could be without rookie Bruno Fernando. He left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle in the third quarter and did not return.
--Field Level Media
Sixers looking to contain Hawks' Young