Celtics 101 Hawks 90
Despite being down 3-1 in the series, things were looking up for the Hawks, they were home, and they were healthy, having a starting lineup with Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford together for the first time in a LONG time. However it seemed as if Joe Johnson was the only one who showed up for the Hawks as he was the only Atlanta player to score in double figures as the Celtics run away with game 5 on the road 101-90 and advance on to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Hawks looked lost in the first quarter as they only put up 10 points and trailed by 9 early in the game. After a better second quarter, it was Boston 41 Atlanta 33 at half. The Celtics could not miss in the third quarter as they put up 34 points and took a 75-59 lead into the fourth and hold on for the 11 point win 101-90.
Rajon Rondo was brilliant as he had a double double with 19 points (8-11, 3-5 ft), 10 assists and 5 boards. Paul Pierce struggled going 4-19 from the field and missing all 9 three point attempts but finished with 16 points, 9 boards and 6 assists. Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett recorded double double's as Bass went for 15 and 12 and Garnett had 14 and 14. Ray Allen off the bench scored 13 points as he knocked down three 3 pointers. Greg Stiemsma scored 4 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Celtics shot 45% from the field (36-80, 6-22 3pt) and were 22-30 from the foul line.
As mentioned before, Joe Johnson was the only Hawk to score in double figures as he had 33 points (11-20, 4-5 3pt, 7-9 ft). Josh Smith was 3-9 from the field scoring 8 points but did have 18 boards, 2 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Al Horford looked rusty in just his second game back going 0-9 from the field and finished with 3 points, 8 rebounds and 5 turnovers. Atlanta shot 38% from the field (26-68, 5-10 3pt) and were 29-40 from the foul line.
Rajon Rondo who missed game 2 due to a suspension averaged 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 12.8 assists and 3 steals. Paul Pierce averaged 21.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. Kevin Garnett averaged 14 points, and 13.2 boards.
Joe Johnson averaged 27.8 points per game. Josh Smith who missed game 3 with an injury averaged 24.8 points and 16.5 rebounds for the series.
The Celtics defeat the Hawks 4-1 in the series.
Hawks @ Celtics Game 4
Celtics 95 Hawks 85
With the Celtics up 2-1 in the series, they can really take a commanding 3-1 lead with a win in game 4. In a game that was tight all the way through the first three quarters, the Celtics were able to use a big fourth to pull away with a double digit victory 95-85
The Celtics came out strong leading the Hawks 25-21 after the first, and it was 43-42 at half. After both teams scored 23 points in the third they went into the fourth in a tight game but the Celtics outscored the Hawks 29-20 and won the game by 10.
Paul Pierce was huge in this game as he led all scorers with 26 points (8-18, 3-4 3pt, 7-8 ft), 3 boards, 3 steals and a block. Ray Allen scored 19 on 6-16 shooting and knocked down 3 of his 9 three point attempts. Kevin Garnett recorded a double double scoring 16 points (7-11, 2-2 ft) and 12 boards. Brandon Bass almost recorded a double double but came up a rebound short finishing with 10 points and 9 boards. Rondo did a little bit of everything as usual, scoring 8 points (3-12, 2-2 ft), 5 boards, 12 assists and 4 steals. As a team the Celtics shot 40% from the field (33-82, 8-20 3pt) and were 21-23 from the foul line.
In a losing effort, Joe Johnson scored 20 points (7-17, 2-5 3pt, 4-6 ft), had 7 boards and 7 assists. Josh Smith after missing game 3 had 19 points (8-10, 3-5 ft), 9 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block. Jeff Teague had 11 points (5-11, 1-1 3pt) and 5 assists. Kirk Hinrich scored 10 points (4-7, 2-4 ft), 4 boards and 5 assists but had 6 of the teams 20 turnovers. Off the bench Tracy McGrady scored 7 points and had 5 boards. The Hawks shot 44% from the field (32-72, 3-13 3pt) and were 18-26 from the foul line.
Game 5 is Tuesday in Atlanta
Hawks @ Celtics Game 3
Celtics 101 Hawks 87
With the series tied at 1-1 and totally up for grabs. Good news for Boston is that Rajon Rondo is back from suspension, bad news for Atlanta, Josh Smith is sitting this one out with a strained knee. The loss of Smith really hurt the Hawks in game 3 as there was really nobody who picked up the slack defensively as the Celtics go on to win 101-87.
The Hawks looked strong in the 1st half as they led 54-51, but only managed to score 33 points in the second half compared to the Celtics 50. The Celtics cruised to a 14 points victory, 101-87 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Paul Pierce had a team high 23 points (9-24, 5-8 3pt) with 3 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kevin Garnett took advantage to the fact Smith wasn’t on the court, as he scored 18 points (9-16) with 15 boards including 5 offensive, 2 steals and a block. Avery Bradley had 14 points on 6-13 shooting, Brandon Bass had 12 points (5-9) and 7 boards and some great efforts off the bench as Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus scored a combined 23 points going 8-10 from the field including 4-5 from downtown and 3-5 from the foul line. Rondo only taking 5 shots finished with 5 points, 5 boards, 13 assists and 3 steals. As a team the Celtics shot 51% (41-81, 9-16 3pt) and 10-13 from the foul line.
Joe Johnson had to pick up the slack with the absence of Josh Smith as he scored 34 points (12-26, 4-8 3pt, 6-9 ft), had 10 boards and 2 assists. Kirk Hinrich had 12 points (3-4, 1-1 3pt, 5-8 ft) and 7 assists and Jeff Teague had 12 points (5-12, 2-3 ft), 5 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals. In 16 minutes Willie Green had 11 points (5-7, 1-1 3pt). Ivan Johnson played some solid defense off the bench as he had 8 points, 11 boards including 6 offensive. and 2 blocks. The Hawks shot 45% from the field (30-67, 6-12 3pt) and 21-33 from the foul line. They turned the ball over 19 times, 6 of them belonging to Jeff Teague.
Game 4 is Sunday in Boston
Celtics @ Hawks Game 2
Hawks 98 Celtics 91
With Ray Allen out with an ankle injury the Celtics have now lost Rajon Rondo, arguably the MVP of the Celtics as he can do it all. We all know you cant make contact with the officials so after he bumped the referee we knew he would be out for game 2, and the Celtics will have to try to take a 2-0 lead on the road without him.
Unlike game 1 this game had a lot more offense. At the end of the first the Hawks had a 32-29 lead and the Celtics took a 52-48 lead at half, showing no signs of slowing up without two of their most important pieces. However in the second half the Celtics only managed to score 39 points and the Hawks scored 50, to take game 2 98-91.
Joe Johnson and Josh Smith were excellent in this game. Johnson led all scorers with 28 (10-22, 4-6 3pt, 4-4 ft) to go along with 4 boards and 5 assists. Josh Smith was an animal on both sides of the ball scoring 26 poitns (11-21, 1-6 3pt, 3-3 ft), pulling in 17 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and 5 block shots. Jeff Teauge also had double figures with 15 points (4-10, 7-8 ft), 8 assists and 3 steals. As a team the Hawks only committed 8 turnovers and shot 34-80 from the field and 6-24 from downtown.
Paul Pierce did his best Rondo impersonation, nearly recording a triple double, as he had 27 points (9-26, 3-10 3pt, 6-6 ft), 6 boards and 10 assists as he acted as the point forward most of the game. Brandon Bass had another good game and came up 1 rebound short of another double double as he had 24 points on 9-13 from the field and knocking down all 6 free throws. Avery Bradley saw increased minutes as he scored 17 points (6-15, 5-6 ft). Kevin Garnett struggled offensively going 3-13 from the field for 8 points but did have 17 boards. As a team they Celtics shot 31-81 and 5-18 from downtown. Both teams went 24-31 from the foul line.
Game 3 is Friday Night in Boston
Celtics @ Hawks Game 1
Celtics 88 Hawks 76
As two of the best defensive teams in the NBA square off in a first round series you can't expect to see a whole lot of scoring between the Celtics and Hawks. Game 1 was exactly what we expected a relatively low scoring, well defensive game. At halftime of this one it was 39-37 Celtics. But in the third Boston knocked down some big shots and played more stellar defense and jumped out to a 9 point leading going into the fourth and pulled out a 88-76 game 1 victory.
With the bad ankle and all, Ray Allen led the Celtics with 21 points (8-12, 5-7 3pt) coming off the bench. Brandon Bass provided a double double with 16 points (6-12, 4-4 ft) and a team high 10 boards. Paul Pierce was pretty quiet in this one as Josh Smith defended him well most of the game but he did score 15 points (6-14, 1-3 3pt, 2-2 ft) and had 6 boards. Kevin Garnett was 6-9 from the field for 14 points and 8 boards, and of course Rajon Rondo had a big game without scoring many points as he had 6 points (3-9), 7 boards, 16 assists and 4 steals. As a team the Celtics shot better than 50% from downtown (8-15) and made the most of their 8 free throws, knocking them all down. They'll need to limit the turnovers as they had 19 in this one.
In a losing effort, the Hawks had 5 players in double figures but Jeff Teague led the team with 14 (5-9, 4-4 ft). Ivan Johnson had a nice game off the bench with 13 points (4-9, 5-5 ft) and 6 boards. Josh Smith and Joe Johnson were a combined 8-28 from the field for a total of 24 points. They'll both need to find better shots and be more effective. Smith did have a game high 12 boards though. The Hawks did a good job of getting to the line as they attempted 23, 15 more than the Celtics. Atlanta also had 19 turnovers and will need to be more careful with the ball.
Game 2 is Tuesday Night in Atlanta