Trae Younger’s second clutch help of the night time got here within the locker room when he handed a medallion to rookie AJ Griffin.
After one in all Trae’s best video games of the season – a 33-point, 12-assist effort through which he made 12 of 21 pictures – he took the medallion that Nate McMillan gave him for being the Hawks’ greatest offensive participant and turned it over to rookie after Griffin hit the profitable alley-oop layup as time beyond regulation expired.
On a play that seemed like a hook and a facet in soccer, De’Andre Hunter circled the ball with 3.8 seconds left. The Raptors confronted Trae to disclaim him a maintain of that inbound cross, however that meant Trae may head for the basket with out the ball going full pace. Hunter handed to Dejounte Murray, Murray returned a brief cross to a streaking Trae, and his pace propelled him right into a 2-on-1 break.
If Trae had thrown it earlier, Toronto’s OG Anunoby may need backtracked to interrupt the lob. If Trae threw it later, the time may need expired. Had Trae put the ball someplace else, Griffin may need wanted extra time to shoot, and the clock may have expired with the ball in his palms.
“It is that factor the place he appears to be like like he is about to shoot, however he simply passes it on the final second,” Griffin stated of the help. “I simply noticed the look in his eyes. As soon as I noticed that, I knew it was a ‘recreation’.”
Trae performed down the cross and targeted on the end.
“(OG Anunoby) simply picked early,” Trae stated, “and I simply threw it over his head – and AJ went to play. I used to be completely satisfied for him.”
Griffin had 8 offensive factors and a pair of rebounds within the 5 minutes of time beyond regulation, scoring the purpose of the session first basket on a play the place he cut up two defenders by dribbling behind his again and ahead as soon as once more between his legs. He completed with a teary floater on a 3rd defender.
4 minutes later, Griffin hit the primary winner of his NBA profession.
“I used to be in the best place on the proper time,” Griffin stated. “I had a sense they have been going to push. I knew that. I noticed it develop early on, so I used to be like, ‘Let me sneak up on them. “
The Hawks received sturdy performances from various gamers. John Collins had a season-high 11 rebounds and 4 assists. De’Andre Hunter tried a career-high 14 free throws. Clint Capela had 18 factors, 14 rebounds and three blocks. He anchored the help protection all through the sport, and when the Hawks began to play a swap protection within the last minutes of regulation, he repeatedly repeated I had one-on-one stops on a Raptor ballhandler in house.
However the night time belonged to AJ Griffin, and his 17-point efficiency was made even sweeter by the truth that he received to do it in entrance of his father, former NBA participant and present Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin.
“Though (AJ) will not say it,” Trae stated, “it might imply a bit of bit extra to him as a result of it was in opposition to his dad. It is at all times thrilling to see individuals’s success. I am simply completely satisfied that AJ may have had an evening like this.”