PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Anfernee Simons broke a career-high 43 points and the Portland Trail Blazers surpassed Trae Young’s 56 points, the NBA’s best score of the season, on Monday to defeat the Atlanta 136-131. Hawks and stop a four-game losing streak.
Young was 17 of 26 on shooting from the field, 7 of 12 from 3-point range and 15 of 15 on free throws on his best night as a professional, and he dished out 14 assists. His 56 points eclipsed Kevin Durant’s 51 with the Brooklyn Nets at the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 12. Golden State Warriors ‘Stephen Curry and Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown also reached 50 points this season.
Young was the first player with more than 50 units and more than 14 assists in a game since James Harden with the Houston Rockets on December 31, 2016.
Simons hit nine 3-pointers, the best of both his career and his team this season. After missing Portland’s last game, Simons took a place in the starting five, replacing Damian Lillard, who was out due to injury.
Portland was behind on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter, but moved up 112-107 behind a Ben McLemore layup and a Nassir Little 3-pointer with 7:43 from the final buzzer. A basket from Simons raised the lead to 118-111, but the relentless Hawks wouldn’t let them get away down the stretch.