Atlanta went into Boston facing enormous headwinds: down 3-1 in the series, at an unfriendly TD Garden, and without their second-best player in Dejounte Murray, who was serving a one-game suspension on Tuesday.
Atlanta began the game hot, with a long-range Trae Young triple to open the contest.
Atlanta would continue to rattle in three after three, matching the Celtics point for point. At one point, seven different Hawks had each of the seven different threes made for Atlanta, including Onyeka Okongwu’s first career postseason three seen here.
The Hawks led 30-27 after one quarter. Trae Young captained the effort with nine points and four assists.
Late in the second quarter, however, the Hawks ceded an extended run to the Boston Celtics, who took control of the momentum with drive after drive from Atlanta native Jaylen Brown. Brown finished the second half with 23 points on 10-for-13 (77%) shooting.
At halftime, the Hawks trailed 66-58 but still had a puncher’s chance with possibly just one half left in their season. Trae Young did his part to hold the Celtics close with 15 points and six assists.
John Collins continued his bounce back game in the third quarter, hitting this corner three pointer set up by a Trae Young no-look pass.
Collins wasn’t done, with this two-way play that started with a steal and ended with a dunk.
Atlanta would largely play the third quarter to a draw, losing the quarter 26-24 and heading into the fourth quarter down 92-82.
Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped into a starting spot tonight and gave the Hawks a big lift. Here is one of his three threes.
Atlanta would continue to hang around until a late 12-0 run by Atlanta cranked up the drama.
TRAE FOR THE TIE ❄️— NBA (@NBA) April 26, 2023
HE'S GOT 30 PTS. 2:31 REMAINS ON TNT. pic.twitter.com/HDNqwaG6EA
Later, Trae Young drove, got fouled, and Jayson Tatum slapped the ball away which triggered the referees to add on a technical foul. Young hit all three of those shots to give the Hawks a one-point lead with 1:39 left in the contest.
With 30 seconds left on the clock, a Trae Young wedgie between the rim and the backboard meant both teams had to battle at midcourt for the jump ball. The ball found its way to Robert Williams III via Jayson Tatum for an open dunk to give the Celtics a one-point lead with just 25 seconds left.
Then, a Marcus Smart foul on Trae Young at half court gifted two free throws to Young as the Hawks were in the bonus. Young calmly stepped to the charity stripe and hit both to retake the lead. But Trae Young would quickly be on the opposite end of a foul while trying to take a charge on Derrick White in the lane. White similarly cashed in at the line to retake the lead for Boston with 7.1 seconds on the clock.
By now, you’ve seen the magic Trae Young worked to give Atlanta the win.
Atlanta saw through the final few seconds of the game on the defensive end and picked up a 119-117 win in the direst of circumstances.
Trae Young logged a monster game with 38 points and 13 assists despite missing his star backcourt mate. John Collins added 22 points after a rough Game 4, and Bogdan Bogdanovic pitched in 18 points on 6-for-9 (67%) shooting in a rare start.
Atlanta lives to play on and will see Boston again in State Farm Arena on Thursday for Game 6. With Dejounte Murray returning to the lineup now, Atlanta has stolen momentum in a near hopeless situation and are still alive for at least another two nights.