DALLAS — As Danilo Gallinari’s attempt to pop the buzzer bounced off the rim, Atlanta Hawks star Trey Young ripped off his mouthpiece and trampled referee Josh Tiven in protest of the critical 118-117 loss in their last game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Young was taken down as he set up a screen for Dallas center Willie Cauley-Stein before an inbounds pass with 4.7 seconds left on the clock prevented him from getting the ball as planned.
I’m not going to run away with the ball four seconds before the end and we’re trying to win the game, said Young, who scored 25 points and 15 assists in the loss. I will not fall, only to fall at the end. That’s just the most frustrating part. The fact that we don’t get to play at the end of the game is really frustrating.
Tiven, the team captain, told the reporter that Cowley-Stein considered the contact an accident and that’s why he didn’t whistle. Tiven stated that the officer’s crew came to the same conclusion after reviewing the video of the game.
Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce disagreed, arguing that a foul should have been called, causing Young and the Hawks to kick the ball out of bounds because the contact occurred before the ball reached the end zone.
It’s unfortunate that it ended this way, said Pierce, who added that Teeven told him Young might have been called in for an illegal screen.
It was the perfect screen, Pierce said. Willie Cauley-Stein took down Trey, and that’s a foul. That’s a foul. That’s why Trey was on the floor. It’s ruining our game. That’s a shame. I thought our guys were really competitive. Trey is infected. He falls to the ground. He gets a slap on the nose. He put up a big screen. I gotta hand it to him. He protected himself very well. We tried to get him out, and he did.
Dallas star Luka Doncic, who is still being linked to Young after they were involved in a night swap in 2018, recorded his seventh triple-double at the top of the championship with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while the Mavs earned their biggest win of the season, erasing a 13-point deficit.
The Mavs leave Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson behind, who scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, while Dallas beat Atlanta by 10 points in the period. Brunson, who scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, continued to attack Young as a defensive player.
Brunson was great, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. A great player like Young needs defensive pressure to wear him down a bit, and Jalen did a great job on offense.
Cowley-Stein also played a crucial role in the win after missing the previous two games due to coach’s decisions. He had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Dallas outscored Atlanta by 19 points in 23 minutes.
Cowley-Stein, who defended John Collins when Young deposited the ball in the net in the previous game, was not surprised that the referees had not blown the whistle.
I don’t even see Trey, Cowley-Stein. He’s a smart boy. He tried a quick little foul to take free throws and end the game. There was no chance they would bring him into the game. Nice try. It was slippery. That was mean.
As far as Young was concerned, Cowley-Stein’s statement was evidence that the error should have been committed.
When he said he didn’t see me, [and] knocked me down, that’s obviously good protection, Young said. I have a nice screen set up. Like he said, he didn’t see me. He turned and ran at me. If Dorian [Finney-Smith] wasn’t there, I would have fallen right away, but he was there and used his hands a little bit, so I fell sideways. That’s what happened.
He turned around and didn’t see me, I was there and he fell on top of me. As I lay on the ground, the judge looked straight at me. He hasn’t said anything or called.