Trae Young scored 38 points and hit a deep 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key with 2.8 seconds left to help the Atlanta Hawks seal a late comeback and upset the Boston Celtics 119-117 on Tuesday night. The game was tied at 117 with 2.8 seconds remaining when Young made the game-winning shot.
The result shifts the series to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday, cutting Boston’s advantage in the first-round playoff series to 3-2 and sending the clubs back for the matchup.
John Collins scored 22 points for Atlanta, playing without Dejounte Murray, who was given a one-game suspension for pushing an official with his chest as he walked off the floor after Game 4.
The Celtics were defeated by a score of 37-25 in the fourth quarter, despite the contributions of Jaylen Brown (35 points) and Jayson Tatum (19 points).
With 7.3 seconds left on the clock, Derrick White gave the Celtics the lead, 117-116, and set the stage for the Hawks’ last possession of the game. The ball was passed to Young in the backcourt, and he made his way into the front court before sinking a jump shot from 29 feet out over Brown. Throughout the game, the Hawks had a total of 19 three-pointers made.
The Celtics fumbled the first inbounds pass and had another opportunity with 0.5 seconds remaining, but Tatum’s fading 3-point attempt hit nothing but air as time ran out.
Brown, who has been rehabilitating from a facial fracture sustained late in the season, played the most of the win by the Celtics in Game 4 without his mask on. Brown said he regained energy after taking it off on a night where he scored 31 points.
He wore it once again for Game 5 and kept up the same energy level, leading all scorers with 23 points in the first half and making 10 of his first 13 shots.
Before attempting to tie the game at 111 on a 3-pointer from Young, Atlanta was down by 13 points.
The Boston Celtics advanced the ball up the court and found Robert Williams open for a layup. Williams converted the opportunity. He got called for a foul but did not make his free shot after it.
After Young drove the ball, Al Horford fouled him, bringing the score to 113-111. Tatum took issue with the decision, which resulted in a technical foul being called against him. When Young made all three free throws, the Hawks could take the lead, 114-113.
Brown had a turnover, then he shot poorly on a driving layup attempt. The next possession for Atlanta resulted in a jump ball, which Boston managed to get control of. With just 25 seconds remaining, Williams put the Celtics back on front with a scoring layup to put them in the driver’s seat.
With 15.8 seconds left on the clock, Young fouled again and made both of his subsequent free throw attempts.
The Celtics have requested a timeout at this point. With the subsequent play, White found himself driving toward the hoop. After receiving a foul, he stepped to the free throw line and made what turned out to be the game-winning shots.
Young filled up the offensive slack left by Murray’s absence and assisted Atlanta in keeping up with the competition early on by scoring nine of the Hawks’ first 13 points.
The Hawks got off to a stronger start from 3-point range as a team, making 6 of 11 shots in the first quarter to take a 30-27 lead into the second. In contrast, they could only make three of ten shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter as Boston took the lead.
Horford’s two-point shot for the Celtics was reviewed and changed to a three-pointer with 8 minutes and 7 seconds remaining in the second quarter to level the game at 41. After then, Boston continued to dominate the remainder of the half, outscoring Atlanta 25-17 to take a 66-58 lead into the locker room.