Trae Young scored 33 points and lofted a pass from midcourt to rookie AJ Griffin for the game-winning alley-oop layup at the buzzer in the Atlanta Hawks’ 124-122 NBA overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday (US time).
Young handed out 12 assists for the Hawks, who shook off a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and avenged their defeat to the Raptors in October.
Despite a slew of injury absences that included key contributor Pascal Siakam, Toronto led 108-101 with 2:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
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The Hawks responded with a 10-0 run to take a two-point lead with less than a minute remaining, and Raptors guard Scottie Barnes missed a putback attempt at the buzzer that would have won it.
Griffin played 30 minutes off the bench and scored eight of his 17 points in overtime, his driving floater with 1:58 to play giving Atlanta a 118-115 lead.
“He plays with a lot of poise and made some big shots tonight,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said of the 19-year-old.
The Hawks were up 120-117 after Young’s layup with 28.2 seconds remaining, but the Raptors — with the help of a dunk by OG Anunoby — had it knotted at 122-122 with 3.8 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbounds Young got the ball at half court and fired an arching pass to Griffin under the basket for a wide open game-winner.
“He saw the ending,” said a beaming Griffin, who delighted in the celebratory ice-water dousing he got from his teammates after the win.
It came down to the wire in Philadelphia, where the Minnesota Timberwolves turned back a late charge from the 76ers for a 112-109 victory.
The Indiana Pacers pulled out a close one, edging the Orlando Magic 114-113.
The Timberwolves led by as many as 17 in the third quarter and by 13 going into the final frame.
But the short-handed 76ers, fueled by 32 points from Joel Embiid and 27 from Shake Milton, trimmed the deficit to one point on De’Anthony Melton’s three-pointer with 29.1 seconds remaining.
Melton then came up with a steal from Anthony Edwards but missed a driving layup and Edwards — who led Minnesota with 25 points — pushed the lead back to three with a pair of free throws.
The 76ers were without star guard James Harden for a seventh game because of a foot injury. Tobias Harris was again absent with a sore hip and Tyrese Maxey missed his first game since suffering a left foot fracture on Friday.
They got another scare late in the fourth when Embiid tripped over teammate Georges Niang and hit the court, appearing to turn an ankle.
He stayed in the game but seemed limited and fell one more time.
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In Indianapolis, Aaron Nesmith made two free throws with 9.6 seconds remaining and the Pacers thwarted the Magic on their last possession to grab the narrow win.
Tyrese Haliburton scored 22 points and handed out 14 assists for the Pacers, who won their fourth straight game. He said the tight games were making the Pacers better.
“It’s happening over and over we’re in close games down the stretch. You’ve just kind of got to figure it out on the go,” Haliburton said.
“We’re growing together as a group, getting better every day, and becoming closer on and off the floor. That’s allowing us to have trust in each other to pull these games out.”
Orlando, playing without standout rookie Paolo Banchero for a fifth straight game, had a chance to snatch the win in the waning seconds, but Franz Wagner missed a layup and Mo Bamba couldn’t put back the rebound.
NBA SCORES – SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20 (AEDT)
Timberwolves 112 – 76ers 109
Magic 113 – Pacers 114
Raptors 122 – Hawks 124
Spurs – Clippers
Jazz – Trail Blazers