Australian NBA goaltender Dante Exum received high praise after his defense against hottest point guard in the league, Trae Young, in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Entering the game averaging 30.5 points per game to go along with eight assists per night, Exum limited Young to just 16 points on a 6-16 shot as the Cavs lacked 96-91 winners.
The Hawks came into the game leading the NBA in scoring (125.8) and free throws per game (25.2), and second in 3-point, second chance points (17.0 ) and rebounds (49.4), but managed just 91 points on 41 percent of shooting while being held to just 35 points in the second half.
After being traded to Cleveland halfway through last season, Exum has carved out a regular role for a young Cavs team, starting with the absence of first-round pick Isaac Okoro in the last two games.
Cleveland followed by 15 points midway through the third quarter, before beating the Hawks 26-17 in the final stanza to take their season record to 4-2.
With the scores tied at 88 in the final minute, Cavs star Collin Sexton got a three-point green light with 27.9 seconds left to give his team the advantage for good.
While Sexton led the Cavs with 27 points on an effective night of 10-18 shooting, Exum’s defense against the usually prolific youngster did not go unnoticed among NBA pundits.