Horry Scale

Horry Scale: Tony Snell's weakside winner rocks Raptors

The 8th-year Hawks forward kept moving and found the empty space on the right wing, where he swished the buzzer-beating 3.

Ben Couch, NBA.com

Tony Snell rocked the Raptors with Thursday's buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.

Call it a comeback. The Hawks, who trailed the Raptors by 15 with 6:13 to play, ground down the lead from there, twice pulling within three points on a closing 24-8 kick. Snell sealed it from the right wing with a clean catch-and-shoot look, holding his form the whole way through.

GAME SITUATION: The Hawks jumped out early in this one, before losing the thread in the middle periods and trailed by 10 entering the fourth. They closed to five, then found themselves back down 15, trailing 112-97 six minutes from the finish. Free throws and 3s shrank the gap from there, until Trae Young’s layup with 49.6 seconds left pulled Atlanta within two. A pair of stops later, a timeout set up the winner with 7.1 seconds to play.

DIFFICULTY: John Collins set a pindown screen to free Trae Young for Kevin Huerter’s inbounds pass, and the offensive savant explored his options from there, driving left around Danilo Gallinari’s pick. The defensive switch left Young driving into three Raptors, De’Andre Bembry scrambling back across to shield Gallinari from a return pass. All the strong side action left little attention on Snell, who opened the play camped out in the corner and literally didn’t move until Young jump stopped in traffic. Snell slide stepped into the open space, Young spotted him and that was all. she. wrote.

CELEBRATION: Snell held the follow through the whole way through, statue still even as his teammates began to react around him. Across the court, Gallinari lifted both arms triumphantly before the ball had even peaked in its arc toward the rim. Collins, hunting a potential tip-in from the opposite corner, dashed over and nearly beat the much closer bench mob. A hopping mass ensued, and Young peeled off with a finger raised to the sky, smiling like a man whose squad just escaped with an extension on a three-game winning streak.

GRADE: Snell read, Young reacted and that sweet, sweet swish snapped true. Regular season, far from the seeding implications, but an extra dash for doing it in style. Three-and-a-half Horrys

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