Hawks’ Dejounte Murray Scores Career-High 44 Points on 44 Shots, Including OT Game-Winner

Dejounte Murray made a game-winning jump shot with .01 seconds left in overtime to help lift the Hawks over the Celtics, 123-122 in a thriller to the finish on Thursday.Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA trade rumors

Murray wasn’t afraid to shoot the ball, as he finished with a career-high 44 points on 44 shot attempts (18-of-44), the most field-goal attempts in a game since Russell Westbrook in 2016 (44).

Even after scoring his career best and coming up clutch, Murray was not impressed with himself, “And I still feel like I played awful, I don’t want to take that many shots, but I know Kobe would be proud of me. At the end of the day we competed at a high level to the end, and we got a great team win.”

Along with that, Murray took all but one of the Hawks’ shots in extra time, scoring each of the team’s 11 overtime points, which was also more than the entire Celtics team. In addition to scoring, he added seven assists and seven rebounds, as well as two steals and a block in 47 minutes of playing time. 

Bogdan Bogdanović contributed 24 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer to send the game into OT, while De’Andre Hunter finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, his second double-double of the season.

With six seconds left, Boston’s Jaylen Brown made a go-ahead jump shot, putting the Celtics up 122-121. Then after calling timeout, Murray got the ball near halfcourt from the inbound pass, and went one-on-one against Jrue Holiday, before sinking a fadeaway 18-foot jumper with one-tenth of a second left on the clock to give the Hawks the victory, as the crowd erupted in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. 

This is the second time this week that the Hawks defeated the Celtics, important to remember, in Monday’s game they overcame a 30-point deficit to win 120-118, which snapped Boston’s nine-game winning streak. Notably, Murray was questionable coming into this game with lower back soreness, but opted to play since the team already has seven injured players on the roster, including Trae Young (finger), Jalen Johnson (ankle), Saddiq Bey (ACL), and Onyeka Okongwu (toe). Considering the team’s injuries, Murray has had to step up in a big way to keep the Hawks in playoff contention, as he has averaged 27 points (46% FG; 39% 3-PT), dished out nine assists, and swiped just over two steals per game in March. 

The Hawks have undoubtedly been short-handed for the past month as their star point guard, Young, has now missed 17 games in a row, after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his finger. To note, during the second quarter of tonight’s game, Young actually managed to get a technical foul for walking onto the floor in street clothes during play. The 3x All-Star has not seen the floor since February 23, that is to say, without his co-star backcourt running mate, Murray has certainly encapsulated the meaning of “putting the team on your back,” as he just recorded a career-high 15 assists in Boston a few days ago, and tonight he has now achieved his career high in points. “That’s the best team in the league… we came out and competed, and these are the games I want to be a part of,” Murray said.

Despite Jayson Tatum scoring 31 points in tonight’s game and 37 points in the previous matchup, the Celtics have now lost two games in a row to the Hawks. Nevertheless, Boston still remains atop of the NBA standings with a 57-16 record, while Atlanta improves to a 34-39 record, holding on to the 10th seed play-in spot in the East. 

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