NBA regular season

Hawks shock Celtics, erase 30-point deficit in 2-point stunner


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Hawks shock Celtics, erase 30-point deficit in 2-point stunner

STUNNER. Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) is defended by Boston Celtics forward Oshae Brissett (12) in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The reeling Atlanta Hawks pull off their biggest comeback win in 27 years after climbing from a 30-point hole to shock the Boston Celtics

Dejounte Murray scored 19 points, dished out 15 assists and made the go-ahead basket with one minute left to help the Atlanta Hawks overcome a 30-point deficit and stun the visiting Boston Celtics 120-118 on Monday (Tuesday, March 26, Manila time).

De’Andre Hunter followed with a 3-pointer to up Atlanta’s lead to four points with 10.1 seconds remaining. Jayson Tatum scored on a tip-in with 1.2 seconds left for Boston, but Atlanta was able to inbound the ball after a timeout to run out the clock.

No team had successfully come back from a 30-point deficit against the team with the best record in the NBA since the Los Angeles Lakers did so against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 6, 2002.

Monday also marked the Hawks’ largest come-from-behind win of the play-by-play era, which began in 1997-98.

Boston (57-15), which has already secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end. Atlanta (32-39) improved to 1-2 against the Celtics this season and ended a seven-game losing streak vs. Boston. The teams will meet again in Atlanta on Thursday.

The Celtics led 68-38 in the second quarter, but Atlanta went on an 18-6 run to cut the lead to 74-56 at halftime. The momentum carried over to the second half, and the Hawks twice got as close as three points in the third quarter before Boston led 96-90 going into the fourth.

Atlanta took the lead for the first time on a 3-pointer by Wesley Matthews with 9:58 left.

Hunter led the Hawks with 24 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic contributed 22. Vit Krejci matched his career high with 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers.

Boston got 37 points and eight rebounds from Tatum, 24 points from Jaylen Brown and 17 points from Kristaps Porzingis. Payton Pritchard finished with 15 points and six assists.

The Hawks were playing without three starters — Trae Young (finger), Jalen Johnson (ankle) and Saddiq Bey (knee) — and backup center Onyeka Okongwu (toe).

The Celtics jumped out to a lead quickly against the short-handed Hawks. Boston shot 66.7 percent from the field (16-for-24) in the first quarter, didn’t commit a turnover and led 44-22. It was the most points Atlanta has allowed in a first quarter this season. –

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