Trae Young said he had no doubt his late floater would beat the Miami Heat.
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And the Hawks won 111-110, drawing even with the East's top-seeded team in their first-round playoff series.
"I knew if I shot it, I wouldn't make it," said Young, whose floater with 4.4 seconds left capped Atlanta's 16-point second-half comeback.
The eighth-seeded Hawks, who needed two wins in play-in tournaments to make the playoffs, looked to be heading for a 3-0 series deficit on Friday night.
First, Miami's 21-0 third-quarter run sucked the energy out of a raucous State Farm Arena, allowing the Heat to lead by double digits in the fourth.
In this series, Onyeka Okongwu has filled in for injured centre Clint Capela (knee). We need to get this thing going, I'm looking up at the scoreboard.
With 1:41 left, Okongwu made a and-one putback layup and a free throw for Atlanta. However, a P.J. Tucker corner 3-pointer with 54.2 seconds left gave the Heat a 110-109 lead, putting the Hawks in jeopardy.
A pair of missed jump shots by the Hawks and Heat led to Bogdan Bogdanovic's defensive rebound with 9.8 seconds left.