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AP photo by Nick Cammett / Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young reacts to a foul call during the first half of an NBA play-in game Friday night against the host Cleveland Cavaliers.

CLEVELAND — When the final horn sounded and Trae Young's work was done Friday night, the Atlanta Hawks' All-Star point guard slammed the ball off the floor, sending it spinning skyward. He then turned and waved goodbye to the Cleveland Cavaliers fans retreating to the exits.

So cold. Ice Trae stings again.

Young scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half as the Hawks overcame losing center Clint Capela to a knee injury to beat the Cavs 107-101 in a play-in game Friday night and earn the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed for the NBA playoffs.

Young started slowly for the second straight game, but the prolific scorer with the chilly nickname — because his ability to take over games with one of the NBA's deadliest shooting strokes — heated up when it mattered most.

"He made shots from the jump circle," marveled Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

Young scored 16 points in the third quarter to rally the Hawks from a 10-point halftime deficit, and he added another 16 in the fourth to finish off the Cavs, whose inexperience showed throughout the second half.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 19 points and Danilo Gallinari 14 for Atlanta, which faces an even bigger road test by taking on the top-seeded Miami Heat in a first-round series that starts Sunday. The Hawks were 1-3 against Miami in the regular season.

The Hawks gained some late momentum to finish ninth in the East, then won a play-in game against the visiting Charlotte Hornets to book the trip to Cleveland.

"We took care of business," Young said. "It's a testament to our team that we kept fighting and finished the job."

The Hawks, who made it to the conference title round a year ago, may have to go forward without Capela. The 6-foot-10, 256-pound center hyperextended his right knee late in the first half, had to be helped from the floor and couldn't return.

Capela's loss forced all of the Hawks to step up, especially when it came to rebounding, but it was Young who kept their season alive as he made 10 of his final 14 shots.

"Trae has a great deal of confidence in his game, his ability, and he continued to believe," Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. "I didn't see any panic in his play. He came out in the second half, remained aggressive. Those shots started to fall — the same shots that he was taking the first half, they started to fall in the second half."

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AP photo by Nick Cammett / Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young shoots over the Cleveland Cavaliers' Isaac Okoro on Friday night.

Lauri Markkanen scored 26 and Darius Garland 21 for the young Cavs, who fell just shy of a playoff berth but overachieved this season. The team hasn't been to the playoffs since 2018, though, and the Cavs haven't been to the playoffs without LeBron James on their roster since 1998.

As if to add insult to injury, James tweeted an emoji of an ice cube in the closing seconds — a nod to Young — as the Hawks were ending Cleveland's turnaround season.

Lifted by a rowdy, towel-waving crowd in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Cavs were in position to advance, and they played well in long stretches. Their offense bogged down in the third quarter, though, and they had no answer defensively for Young.

"The ball wasn't popping, and there was a lot of isolation and standing still," Bickerstaff said of his team's troubles after halftime.

The Cleveland fans who stayed until the end saluted the Cavs, who weren't expected to get this far after winning just 22 games last season. While they've been relegated to lottery picks and losing since James left after a four-year run to the NBA Finals four years ago, the future in Cleveland is bright.

"We're headed in the right direction, for sure," Bickerstaff said. "We accomplished a lot this year."

With the season on the line, they got a huge emotional and defensive lift by the return of All-Star center Jarrett Allen, who had missed the previous 19 games with a broken finger on his left hand. Allen finished with 11 points.

The Hawks were in big trouble late in the third quarter, when Young who averaged 32.5 points in four games against the Cavs in the regular season, finally heated up. Ignoring some vulgar chants by Cleveland fans, the dazzling star made a pair of 3-pointers and scored Atlanta's final 12 points in the quarter as the Hawks closed with a 17-8 run over the final 3:48 to tie it 84.

In the fourth, Young answered every Cleveland run with one of his own, knocking down floaters or getting to the rim for layups, like the Hawks have seem him do so many times before.

Said teammate De'Andre Hunter: "That's why he gets paid the big bucks."

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