#5) Atlanta Hawks: December 21
Not only did this contest boast an electric point guard duel, but it also featured a mighty comeback in the final frame. In terms of “rewatchability” and excitement value, this outing on December 21 was top notch.
Trae Young dropped 47 points, eight rebounds, and six assists—and basically lived at the charity stripe, going 16-19 from the line— to Spencer Dinwiddie‘s 39 points, six rebounds, and six assists. This exhibition also capped off a huge three-game stretch for Dinwiddie, who dropped 41 in San Antonio and 31 in New Orleans in back-to-back performances beforehand.
It wasn’t a full 48-minute effort by the Nets, who trailed by as many as 18 after coming out lackadaisical in the second quarter allowing the Hawks to enter the half rather comfortable. Their frantic, uncontrolled play put them in a hole, entering the fourth quarter down 13 points in a must-win game at home against an inferior foe.
However, that’s when the team stepped on the accelerator and never eased up. They ended up winning by double-digits after pummeling the Hawks 37-14 in the final 12 minutes of action.
They didn’t make things easy on themselves, which would become a recurring theme in the following months, but the heroes prevailed when all appeared lost. And for that, as well as a fun point-guard duel, it makes the list.