Denied an opportunity to take a near-impenetrable 3-0 collection lead on Friday night time, the Boston Celtics took the court docket in Atlanta this night with a second likelihood to place the Hawks on the ropes. This time, they adopted by. Warding off a plucky Hawks effort at each flip, the Celtics delivered a robust effort from begin to end, and earned a formidable 3-1 lead within the first spherical collection.
This was a balanced efficiency from the Celtics, with six gamers scoring in double figures. Main the best way was Jaylen Brown, who seemed rejuvenated after discarding his protecting masks partway by the night time, scoring 31 factors. Jayson Tatum added 31 factors of his personal, however struggled with effectivity, capturing simply 4-of-13 from three-point vary. The Boston guard rotation was efficient as soon as once more, as Marcus Good, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon mixed for 51 factors and eight three-pointers,
For the Hawks, De’Andre Hunter had a outstanding night time, scoring 27 factors. After an enormous Recreation 3 efficiency, Trae Younger as soon as once more struggled tonight, scoring 35 factors and dishing 15 assists, however capturing simply 11-of-26 from the sphere and discovering a number of of his buckets in rubbish time when the Hawks now not had an opportunity. The large man rotation of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu made an influence on the offensive glass, grabbing six offensive rebounds.
The Hawks’ offense had their manner with the Celtics in Recreation 3, aided by a lackluster effort from the Boston protection. Tonight, tightening up that effort was a focus from the get-go. The held Atlanta to only 36% capturing from the sphere within the opening body, whereas their offense continued to prepare dinner because it has all collection lengthy. The Celtics drilled 5 threes and assisted on half their made buckets within the first quarter, taking a 35-25 lead into the second.
The Boston offense slowed within the second quarter, blowing some wind into Atlanta’s sails. After buying and selling buckets for a lot of the quarter, the Hawks went on a 9-0 run within the closing minutes that allowed them to drag again inside 4 factors of the Celtics’ lead. A 3-point play from Robert Williams III — a part of a 8-point, 12-rebound first half for the younger heart — helped restore order, and the Celtics tightened their grip on the reins because the clock ticked down. They entered the half with a 12-point lead, 65-53.
After a comparatively quiet outing — at the very least by his latest, lofty requirements — on Friday in Recreation 3, White not solely bounced again tonight, however seemed like the very best participant on the court docket within the first half. His 15 first half factors led the Celtics, they usually wanted each level as Tatum and Brown received off to comparatively quiet begins. Boston’s has gone as White has for this whole collection, and the sturdy begin was an encouraging signal this night.
The Hawks pulled the lead again inside attain behind an 8-2 run to kick off the second half, however the Celtics rapidly responded. For a lot of the third quarter, the sport hit a breakneck tempo, with each groups seeming to amp up their tempo. Close to the halfway level of the quarter, Younger grabbed Tatum’s arm on the best way to the rim, making no try and make a play on the ball. The officiating crew reviewed the sequence, and after a quick video assessment, upgraded the decision to a Flagrant 1 for a pull-down by Younger, placing Tatum to the road.
The lead hovered slightly below the double-digit threshold for a lot of the third quarter, with the Hawks profitable the minutes barely, however making no nice inroads in the direction of flipping the lead. Having lastly shed the protecting masks that, on the request of his mom, he had worn for weeks after having been cleared, Brown righted the ship within the third, scoring 9 factors. The Hawks received the quarter, nonetheless, and trailed by 5 factors getting into the ultimate body, 92-87.
Because the fourth quarter started, the Hawks continued to threaten the Boston lead. The Celtics struggled to maintain them at arm’s size within the early minutes, although the Hawks weren’t in a position to pull nearer than 4 factors. Halfway by the quarter, a well timed three from Tatum and a heady put-back from Brown helped reestablish management for the Celtics, restoring a 10-point edge with slightly below seven minutes remaining in regulation.
Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic fouled out of the sport with slightly below six minutes remaining in regulation, with the Celtics main by eight factors, 108-100. The Hawks put the Celtics on the road once more on the following possession, with Tatum changing on one in every of two free throws earlier than the Boston protection gave up a layup to Younger on the opposite finish. A couple of back-and-forth possessions later — together with a pair of layups from Williams III, his finest recreation of the collection so far — the Celtics discovered themselves forward 113-106 with three minutes remaining in regulation.
Tatum dominated the subsequent few possessions, forcing his solution to the free throw line for a pair of freebies earlier than connecting on a really deep pull-up three to place the Celtics forward by 9 with two minutes left. Younger responded with a deep three of his personal on the subsequent possession, however with 1:21 on the clock, Brown hit the dagger — a three-pointer that put the Celtics forward 121-109. The Hawks discovered a pair fast buckets, nevertheless it was removed from sufficient to make this recreation shut, and the Celtics earned themselves a 3-1 collection lead.
Subsequent up, the collection returns house to Boston for Recreation 5 because the Celtics look to shut out the Hawks on their house court docket this Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST on TNT.