The Atlanta Hawks are still alive.
Trae Young powered a stunning fourth-quarter rally Tuesday to overcome a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit in a 119-117 thriller over the Boston Celtics. He secured the win with a deep go-ahead 3 from just beyond the logo with 1.8 seconds remaining.
The shot capped a 16-point fourth quarter from Young that cemented a Celtics collapse at home. He finished the game with 38 points while scoring Atlanta's final 14. With the Hawks' win, Boston now holds a 3-2 lead with the series headed back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday.
Celtics were in control
The Celtics appeared to have a win in the bag after halftime. They opened a 66-58 lead at the break and led for much of the second half by double digits. With 6:10 remaining, Jaylen Brown hit a 3-pointer to extend Boston's lead to 109-96. Then the rally began.
John Collins answered with a 3-pointer on the other end. He scored seven of Boston's next nine points before ceding the spotlight to Young. With Atlanta trailing 111-105, Young pulled up for a deep 3 from the right wing to cut Boston's lead in half. On Atlanta's next possession, he did it again to cap a 15-2 Hawks run. The game was tied at 111-111, and panic set in for Boston.
TRAE BACK-TO-BACK THREES TO TIE IT 😱 pic.twitter.com/Xlgi5qT1TQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 26, 2023
'F*** Trae Young' chants don't faze Hawks star
Boston stopped the bleeding with a Robert Williams III dunk on the other end. But an Al Horford foul and a Jayson Tatum technical for batting the ball out of bounds put Young on the line for three free throws on the other end. As Boston fans chanted f*** Trae Young, the 88.6% free-throw shooter hit all three to give Atlanta its first lead of the second half at 114-113.
(Warning: NSFW language in video below)
This is really Trae Young’s anthem lmao pic.twitter.com/WfjoY8xKx0
— َ (@FeelLikeDrew) April 26, 2023
Young was not offended by the chants, calling them "total respect. They ain't doing that to everybody."
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 26, 2023
From there, Boston and Atlanta traded the lead four more times. Two Derrick White free throws after a foul by Young on a drive gave Boston a 117-116 lead with 7.1 seconds remaining. But Young would not be denied.
The Hawks called timeout to set Young up in isolation with Brown. Brown guarded the 3-point arc but gave Young breathing room as he stepped past the midcourt logo. Instead of attacking the basket in a one-point game, Young stepped back as a helpless Brown extended both arms to challenge the shot. The effort was to no avail as Young's shot sailed past his hands and ultimately through the bottom of the net.
The shot and the win kept Atlanta's season alive. For the Celtics, it was a crushing loss in Boston and a blown chance to set up a matchup against the resting 76ers. Instead, Philadelphia still awaits it second-round opponent. The NBA announced that second-round series will begin Monday.
Young added 13 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals to his 38-point tally. It was not an efficient effort as he shot 14 of 33 from the field. But he hit 5-of-13 3-point attempts and and all five attempts from the line. Collins added 22 points while Bogdan Bogdanović tallied 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists on a 6-of-9 shooting night.
Celtics' mistakes prove costly
Brown led the Celtics effort with 35 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on a 15-of-23 effort from the floor. He committed an unforced turnover and threw up an air ball at the basket on consecutive possessions in the game's final two minutes. Tatum tallied 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He shot 8 of 21 from the floor and hit just one of his 10 3-point attempts. His late technical allowed the Hawks to take the lead.
Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta.