Hawks forward Paul Millsap knocked down a buzzer-beating jumper to tie the game and to cap off a fourth quarter in which they outscored Cleveland by a score of 44-18. They claimed victory in overtime, marking just the third time in NBA history a team has recovered from a deficit of 26 or greater entering the fourth quarter during the shot clock era (since 1954-55) to win during, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).
The only two teams to previously do the same were the Milwaukee Bucks against the Hawks on Nov. 25, 1977 and the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 26, 2002. The Bucks overcame a 28-point deficit while the Lakers returned from 27 points back to win.
Atlanta's victory Sunday kept the team a game ahead of the Bucks for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Both squads have two games remaining on the schedule, with the fifth seed likely facing the Washington Wizards in the first round and the sixth seed squaring off against the Toronto Raptors.
The Hawks have the tools to possibly make some noise during the first round, but it seems unlikely they will be able to compete with the likes of the Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Regardless of its postseason, Atlanta can at least hang its hat on an impressive comeback against the defending champions.