Trust and confidence: Hawks' De'Andre Hunter, Quin Snyder talk of epic 30-point comeback against Celtics

Published March 26, 2024, 5:00 PM ● NBA.com Philippines Staff

De'Andre Hunter sank the game-winning three for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Atlanta Hawks pulled off an epic 30-point comeback--the largest by any team this season--to defeat the Boston Celtics, 120-118, Philippine time.

With 4:19 left in the second quarter, the Hawks were in a deep hole, 38-68.

"We hung in there," said coach Quin Snyder after the game. "It's easy not to hang in there, especially against teams as good as Boston."

And hang on they did as the Hawks rallied back in the second half.

Playing catch-up all game long along with a 19-4 third quarter run, Atlanta finally took the lead early in the fourth frame. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair in the final ten minutes.

Dejounte Murray got a reverse layup in the final minute, 117-116.

Jaylen Brown tried to sink a three-pointer of his own, but missed. Murray took the ball but couldn't make the pull-up. It was Clint Capela who got it back for the Hawks and dished it to De'Andre Hunter. With ten seconds left, he shot from 26 feet for the dagger and completed the comeback.

Hunter was quick to deflect the credit to Capela.

"I think CC got a big rebound and I just found an open spot. CC found me and from there, it was just muscle memory," Hunter said after the game. He had 24 points, making four of eight triples, along with seven rebounds.

Snyder though wasn't worried with Hunter's shot.

"I've been telling Hunt to hunt threes, and he's done that. I think he didn't hesitate. He shot the ball with confidence. I had confidence in him, there wasn't any hesitation in my mind," the coach said. "I think that's why he made it, because he shot it with confidence."

For Hunter, the mentality was easy to explain: "We gotta fight. We just gotta keep fighting, that's what we gotta do."

Snyder though, said a huge part of the comeback was the trust provided by the Atlanta crowd--who stayed with the team despite the large 30-point hole.

"That energy really gave us a lift," he said. "Anytime you're down that much, you have to do something out of the ordinary a little but to get back in the game. When you have a group of people you know are behind you through thick or thin, rain or shine--there was a lot of rain early--they were a big part of that as the sun came up."

Murray pitched in 19 points, five rebonds, and a career-high tying 15 assists.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum put up 37 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in Boston's losing effort.

The Hawks improve to 32-39 this season, while the Celtics snap a nine-game winning streak while falling to 57-15.