We continue our countdown of the 10 most memorable moments of the Hawks’ 10-year playoff streak.
As previously mentioned, this list includes both positive and negative moments; hence today’s moment.
#9: Paul Pierce Calls Game
2015 Conference Semifinals vs Wizards, Game 3
After trailing by a wide margin for the majority of the game, Atlanta came storming back late, with bench players leading the massive comeback from more than 20 points down. Mike Muscala tied the game on a deep three-pointer with under 30 seconds left. That gave the ball back to Washington with a chance to win, and everyone in the gym knew who was going to shoot it with the game on the line: none other than The Truth himself, Paul Pierce.
Bradley Beal caught the ball and held it at halfcourt. Pierce came off of an (illegal) screen from Will Bynum before catching it at the elbow, guarded by the much smaller Dennis Schroder. Pierce faced the basket, got away with a blatant push-off, and banked in a step-back over Schroder at the buzzer to give Washington the win.
After the game, ESPN’s Chris Broussard asked Pierce if he had “called bank.” Pierce responded by proclaiming, “I called game!” The line went down as one of the most classic lines in recent basketball history.
The Hawks, however, would get the last laugh as they would go onto win the series in 6 games (more on that later on in the countdown).