A.J. Griffin wrapped up a wild final few seconds with a clutch buzzer-beater at State Farm Arena on Sunday night.
The Atlanta Hawks forward caught an inbounds pass in the lane and tipped in a shot with just 0.5 seconds left on the clock to beat the Chicago Bulls 123-122 in overtime. The pass from Jalen Johnson from the sideline was perfect, and Griffin rose up to hit the fadeaway shot.
“Our guys did a good job of paying attention and executing that play to give us the win,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said, via Bally Sports. “We had some players make some big plays tonight … AJ got a rhythm tonight.”
That bucket concluded what was a wild ending to the extra period in Atlanta. First, with just two seconds left, Trae Young drilled a clutch 3-pointer to put the Hawks up by two.
But, just a second later, Bulls star DeMar DeRozan was fouled by Bogdan Bogdanovic while shooting a 3-pointer of his own. That sent him to the free throw line, where he hit all three of his shots to put Chicago right back on top.
That lead, however, just wasn’t enough. The Hawks then took a timeout, advanced the ball and the rest was history. The one-point win, thanks to Griffin, was theirs.
“He has confidence in himself. He works hard,” McMillan said of Griffin. “When he has a rhythm as he did tonight, you want to try to get that ball in his hands. He can shoot the ball and he can make plays, and tonight he did. At the end of the game, that play was the biggest play of the game tonight.”
Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 28 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Young added 19 points with 14 assists in the win. Griffin finished with 17 points and shot 7-of-17 from the field. Atlanta’s win snapped a three-game losing skid, too.
DeRozan nearly had a triple-double to lead the Bulls. He finished with 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on the night. Zach LaVine added 21 points, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Chicago has now lost four of its last six, and dropped to 11-15 on the season.