It was far from a perfect outing for the Hawks. But they fought back to push Saturday’s game to overtime and defeat the visiting Raptors 124-122.

Here are five observations.

1. The Hawks received a huge boost in overtime from rookie AJ Griffin. The first-year wing accounted for more than 60% of the Hawks’ points in overtime, knocking down four of his five attempts from the floor.

Griffin looked poised as he tried to bypass Raptors defenders and work inside, showing off his ability to read what the game gives him.

That came in handy in the final three seconds of overtime. With Raptors forward OG Anunoby taking a second free throw, Griffin made his way to the other end of the floor, of his own volition without one of the Hawks’ veterans telling him to.

De’Andre Hunter inbounded the ball to Dejounte Murray, who quickly found Trae Young. The Hawks star guard raced the ball up the floor before lobbing it over the arms of Anunoby. Griffin quickly caught it in the paint and made the layup to seal the Hawks’ win.

“I think I was in the right spot at the right time,” Griffin said. “I had a feeling that they were going to pressure up. I knew, I saw it developing early. So I was like, ‘let me sneak up behind (Anunoby).’ And that’s exactly what happened. You know, just caught off-guard for a second, and that’s the ending that we got.”

Griffin ended the night with 17 points and five rebounds.

2. Hunter and Young made clutch 3-pointers as the Hawks battled back into the game. The two were responsible for launching a 10-0 run to get the Hawks back into the action after they fell behind by eight.

The Hawks ended up going on a 16-5 run in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 110-109 lead with 59.6 seconds left in the game.

The Hawks battled back in the second half, limiting their turnovers and capitalizing on the opportunities they did have.

Young scored 33 points on one of his more efficient nights since Oct. 29. He made 12 of his 21 attempts from the floor and sank two 3-pointers. He also handed out 12 of the Hawks’ 23 team assists.

Like Young, Hunter also lit a spark for the Hawks in the second half after missing his first seven shots from the floor. Hunter scored 22 points. His 17 points in the second half helped the Hawks climb out of the hole they dug themselves into early in the game.

3. Toronto did not have seven of its rotational players, but it still managed to leave the home team feeling very uncomfortable

The Raptors scored 18 points off of 15 Hawks turnovers to help them establish control of the game.

The Hawks just could not hold onto the ball as the Raptors chipped away at them. The Raptors had 11 steals by the end of the night.

“They scrap. You’re gonna have to beat them,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “They play hard every second that they’re on the floor. They have a lot of like-size players that are versatile that can create mismatches, and (they) take advantage of those mismatches.”

4. On top of not taking care of the ball, the Hawks struggled to corral some of their defensive rebounds. The total rebound battle remained close, with the Raptors outrebounding the Hawks by only one.

But the Raptors cleaned up on the offensive glass, pulling down 17 rebounds and going 8-of-18 on their second-chance opportunities. The Raptors scored 17 second-chance points, which allowed them to hold control of the rhythm of the game.

5. Despite the Raptors crashing the offensive boards, the Hawks could rely on their big man to be the anchor of their defense. Hawks center Clint Capela proved to be a factor in forcing the Raptors to take their shots from outside.

Along with the rest of his teammates, Capela helped the Hawks to hold the Raptors to 8-of-37 shooting from the 3-point line. The last time these two teams faced each other, the Raptors lit up the Hawks from 3, knocking down 14 of their 34 shots from outside.

But Capela was there to help make up for any breakdowns. He ended the night with 18 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.

It’s the fourth time this season and the second time in three games that Capela has had double-digit scoring, double-digit rebounding and multiple blocks in a game.

Stat to know

Hunter scored 22 points behind a career-high 11 free throws (11-of-14) and grabbed five rebounds. He has made 31 of his 35 (.885%) attempts from the line in his past four games.


“I mean, OG was in trouble anyway. He had a tough spot -- stepping up to take me. I was going to keep attacking to the basket, and they can choose eventually, but he just chose early, and I just threw it over his head and AJ went in (and made a) play. So I was happy for him.” — Young on the final play of the game.

Up next

The Hawks head to Cleveland to take on Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers on Monday.