ATLANTA — Trae Young threw a long pass to hit A.J. Griffin for a wide-open layup at the overtime buzzer and the Atlanta Hawks, after rallying late in regulation, beat the undermanned Toronto Raptors 124-122 on Saturday night.
While Young was taking the inbound pass with 3.8 seconds to go and the score tied at 122-all, Griffin had the awareness to run behind the defense and set up near the basket. It was pure basketball instinct. Young caught a pass, took a dribble and threw the pass from just past half-court. Griffin jumped, hauled in the ball and made the shot before landing.
— NBA (@NBA) November 20, 2022
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Griffin said. “I had a feeling they were going to pressure up. I saw it and broke early. I said, `I’ll just sneak up behind them.’ That’s exactly what happened.”
Young hit a pair of free throws with 59 seconds to go in regulation, giving the Hawks their first lead since midway through the third quarter.
The Raptors led 108-101 with 2:36 to go in the fourth quarter. The Hawks went on a 10-run in a 90-second span to take a 111-109 lead on Young’s two free throws with 59 seconds to go.
Toronto had a great chance to win it at the end of regulation, but Scottie Barnes missed a layup and a putback attempt at the buzzer.
Griffin scored eight points of his 17 points in overtime, his second runner making it 118-115. His first runner on Atlanta’s first possession of overtime gave the Hawks a 115-113 lead, and they never trailed again. The teams traded baskets in the extra period before Young’s layup high off the glass with 28.2 seconds remaining made it 120-117.
Hunter missed two free throws at the 7-second mark that would’ve iced it for Atlanta. O.G. Anunoby followed by hitting a pair of free throws to set up Griffin’s game-winner.
“We just get playing, kept fighting,” Young said. “It’s a long game. They went on runs. We went on runs, we went on runs. It’s a long game, so you can’t stop at any time of it. We knew we had a chance to get back in the game. We just kept playing.”
Barnes had a season-high 28 points and Anunoby added 27 for the Raptors, who were seeking third straight victory despite several injuries.
“It’s a little hard, but it’s nothing we can’t withstand,” Raptors forward Thaddeus Young said after scoring 19 points with nine rebounds. “We were short-handed, but we still had a chance to win the game. We just have to make sure we execute down the stretch.”
The Raptors got 15 points from VanVleet and a season-high 17 points from reserve guard Malachi Flynn before he fouled out.
Toronto went on a 22-8 run to go up 42-33 ending on VanVleet’s three-point play early in the second. The Raptors called timeout after a dunk by Collins trimmed the lead to 51-49, but Toronto was up 62-55 at halftime when Barnes’ layup beat the buzzer.
Atlanta is 50-51 all-time against the Raptors, 27-24 at home.