Joe Johnson scored 12 of his 36 points in the 4th quarter as the Hawks beat the Celtics 102-96, their third straight victory over Boston this season.
The Celtics were leading for most of the game, but the momentum took a giant turn midway through the 3rd quarter with the Cs up 67-57. Glen Davis was called for a highly questionable flagrant foul on Marvin Williams. Doc Rivers lost his cool and was ejected after getting two technical fouls in the span of 2 seconds. Armand Hill was also slapped with a technical foul. After the dust settled, the Celtics lead was just 3 heading into the 4th.
The Celtics offense went stagnant in the 4th quarter and we think we know why…
Tom Thibodeau took over for Doc with 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and did not make a single substitution. Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis played the rest of the game. In fact, Rondo (45 minutes), Ray (43 minutes), Paul (42 minutes) and Perk (42 minutes) played the entire second half.
How is that possible? Did he forget to sub?
Brian Scalabrine started for Rasheed Wallace (sore foot, day-to-day, might be out a week) and played extremely well. He had 9 points (3-3 3FG), 5 rebounds and did a tremendous job guarding Josh Smith.
Rondo lead the Celtics with 26 points, 7 assists.
The Hawks shot 33 free throws to the Celtics 18. The Hawks had just 7 TOs, while Boston coughed up the ball 16 times (Perk had 6 TOs).