Atlanta Hawks Make Historic 4th-Quarter Comeback Sunday

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffApril 10, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 9:  Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Atlanta Hawks handles the ball during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 9, 2017 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Kevin Liles/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Liles/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers by 26 points entering the fourth quarter of Sunday's tilt, but what ensued was a comeback for the record books.

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.

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