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Hawks win on buzzer-beater layup from AJ Griffin, defeat Raptors 124-122

Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks were back at home Saturday evening to take on the Toronto Raptors. It was a battle to the end, but the Hawks were able to squeeze out the win, 124-122.

The Hawks were looking to bounce back from their loss against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, and also looking to avenge themselves from the loss they took against the Raptors earlier in the season, which was arguably one of their worst games.

Trae Young had defense on his mind to start the game with a block and an easy score on the other end.

Young later got into his playmaking bag and hooked up with Clint Capela for an easy lob to put the Hawks up 11-6.

Despite the Raptors being down almost half their roster to injuries, they kept it close with the Hawks in the first, with credit to their defense and multiple players making big plays. To end the quarter, the Hawks trailed 31-29.

It was a slow start to the second for the Hawks, as the offense began to get stagnant and the Raptors started to knock some shots. AJ Griffin continued to make the most of his minutes and went coast-to-coast for a layup.

Midway through the quarter, the Hawks started to find some offense with the starters back in and chipped away at the Raptors lead. Unfortunately, it seemed like every time the Hawks would inch closer, the Raptors would answer with a slight punch of their own. Heading into halftime, the Hawks trailed 62-55.

The Hawks came out with better energy in the second half and went on a mini-run to take the lead. From there it was a back-and-forth game as both teams continued to trade buckets. Young started to get into his bag early in the half and knocked down this shot to give the Hawks the lead.

De’Andre Hunter was able to find his way into the paint and finish with multiple defenders around him.

Similar to the first half, the Raptors were able to make a push at the end of the quarter, and they went into the fourth quarter with an 89-82 lead over the Hawks.

John Collins knocked down his first three of the game in the fourth quarter to keep the Hawks in striking distance.

Young continued his solid night with this up-and-under at the rim.

With 3:21 left in the game, Hunter took the ball coast-to-coast to cut the Hawks deficit down to three points. Two minutes later, it was Hunter again that knocked down two big free throws to tie the game at 109. On the Hawks next offensive possession, Young was fouled and hit two free throws to give them the lead.

It came down to the wire, but neither team could take the victory in regulation, which means it was time for some free basketball.

Griffin was the star of the Hawks in overtime, hitting two shots and getting a crucial offensive rebound early in the period.

It looked like the Hawks would walk out with the victory easily, but Hunter missed two free throws to give the Raptors another chance. The Raptors indeed took that chance and hit two free throws to tie the game with three seconds left.

It was then up to the Hawks to answer and they did. Murray found Young as he went downhill, and the threw a lob pass to Griffin for an easy layup to beat the buzzer and give the Hawks the victory.

Young finished the game with 33 points and 11 assists, Hunter finished with 22 points and five rebounds, Capela finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Hawks will be back in action on Monday as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stay tuned.