An early March game between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets was not circled on many people’s calendars heading into the season, but with the way it turned out, it should have been. After nearly three hours, the Hawks escaped with a 143-138 win in double-overtime.
Trae Young finished with 31 points and 16 assists, while John Collins added 28 points and 11 rebounds on 12-of-13 shooting from the field to lead the Hawks. Meanwhile, on the other side, Terry Rozier poured in a career-high 40 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Hornets.
Considering it was a slow night in the association, and most of you probably weren’t watching, let’s take a look at the chaotic finishes down the stretch of each of the final three frames:
End of regulation
With just 20 seconds to play, the Hawks got out in transition, and Young tossed up a lob to Collins, who slammed it home to give the Hawks a one-point lead at 121-120.
But down on the other end, Devonte’ Graham drove to the basket and drew a foul on Cam Reddish to get himself to the line. He sunk both free throws to put the Hornets back in front at 122-121, and seemed to have won it for them.
Instead, with just 1.8 seconds to play, Caleb Martin decided to reach in on Young for some reason, and sent the star point guard to the line. Seriously, what is he doing here?
But to everyone’s surprise, Young only made one of two free throws, which sent the game to overtime.
The first overtime followed a similar pattern, as Collins scored a putback with less than a minute to play to tie things up at 131-131. The Hornets then turned it over on a shot clock violation, and Young missed a floater. With just a few seconds left, a second overtime seemed imminent. And then.
Rozier drove the baseline, which began a truly chaotic sequence. Both he and Treveon Graham collapsed after a collision, and the referee initially called a foul on Graham. But because it was so late, they went to review to see if it was before the buzzer, and determined it was indeed. In response, the Hawks challenged the call, and got it overturned to an offensive foul on Rozier for hooking Graham with his off arm.
At this point, even the Hornets social media account couldn’t believe how bizarre things were, tweeting simply, “what is happening?”
With less than 30 seconds to play, the Hornets were down by three, and needed a quick bucket to stay alive. Rozier delivered, draining a comically exaggerated side-step 3-pointer to tie the game at 138-138. All the Hornets needed was a stop and there would be a third overtime.
No such luck, as Rozier somehow got caught on the completely wrong side of Kevin Huerter, giving him a free lane to the basket. When the defense collapsed, Huerter kicked it out to De’Andre Hunter, who was then fouled by Martin — rough night for him — while shooting a 3.
Hunter made all three free throws, but there were still 13 seconds to play, and the Hornets had a chance. Rozier nearly tied it up again, but his attempt from 3 wouldn’t stay down.
So, there you have it. Don’t you wish you would have tuned in for this game now?