Recap: Paul Pierce beats the Hawks all by himself | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Paul Pierce beats the Hawks all by himself


Everyone on the planet knew that Paul Pierce was going to assert himself in Game 2. Larry Drew, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Dominique Wilkins, Cliff Livingston and Antoine Carr all knew it. And none of them could do anything about it.

The Truth dominated this game: 36 points, 12-26 FG, 11-13 FT, 14 rebounds, 4 assists in 44 minutes. Pierce had 7 straight points during a pivotal stretch late in the 4th quarter that sealed the game. Words don't do it justice.

This was an ugly, grind-it-out game. The Celtics, Pierce included, had some horrific turnovers and defensive lapses. Fortunately, the Hawks did the same. 

The Celtics caught a break when Josh Smith sprained his left knee with 4 minutes remaining. He left the game and did not return. UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowksi reports "Smith has sprained patella ligament in knee, source tells Y! 'He walked out of arena w/ no help, just gingerly,' source says." MRI on Wed.

Jeff Teague (18 points, 5 rebounds) was a major thorn for three quarters. His shot and chest-bumping intensity disappeared in the 4th. 

Kevin Garnett had 15 points, 12 rebounds in 40 minutes. KG played the entire 4th quarter.

Doc Rivers emptied the holster for this one. He played 10 guys and while I can't say they all played well, they all made positive plays.

Keyon Dooling had two 3-pointers. His first trey (3Q) broke the Celtics streak of 19 consecutive three-point misses in the series. 

Marquis Daniels had 4 points, 2 rebounds and a game-high +11 in 15 minutes. 

Even Ryan Hollins contributed 2 rebounds in 6 high-energy minutes.

The Celtics team defense deserves mention. They held the Hawks to 80 points and 34% FG. The C's tightened the screws with about 3 minutes to go in the 3rd. Leading 65-54, Atlanta would score just 15 points the rest of the game. The Celtics bullied Atlanta and they wilted.

Box score | Recap

"Win, lose or draw, the officials did a heckuva job tonight," – Tommy Heinsohn

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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  • RyanH

    Paul clowned them with the Tebow at half court. Shotout to Avery, Keyon, Marquis and Hollins for stepping up when called upon. So proud of our team’s heart and will to win.

  • paul

    With the older players we have, we really must have the longer rotation.
    Such a gutsy win for the team, and such a legend game from Pierce.
    Thank Goodness that punky good-for-nothing disco dancer Rondo was out, eh ‘coach’ Bo?
    Give us your whole game on Friday, Rajon, only, mix just the right amount of cool with your hot passion. The guys came up big for you. Got to return the favor.

  • Mother f-ing TRUTH nuff the bench did it’s job that’s all you ask for “now it’s on to boston and let’s win there!”

  • KY Celts fan

    I’d just like to extend a great big FUCK YOU to all the people who doubted this team. Y’all shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy this win.
    Great job, Captain! Great job, Celtics! Bring it back to Boston. Let’s put the hurt on these pretenders. Boston – championship city!

  • sad part is he may be the 3rd best SF in Boston history

  • KY Celts fan

    I wouldn’t call that sad. I’d call that a mark of a really impressive history.

  • Paul Pierce, Superstar…..You can`t teach greatness!
    “Lock-down” team defense…Hawks score 15 pts. in the final 15 min.

  • And call us fans lucky to get to witness him while he’s still asserting dominance on the court.
    Awesome win, can’t wait for Friday with Rondo back on the court.

  • SamR

    That was amazing. I thought the Hawks choosing not to foul with 25 seconds left down 7 said it all. The Celtics took their hearts from the last 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter on.
    Pierce of course had an outstanding game, but I think what allowed him to finish strong was when Pietrus and Daniels stepped up on D and the offense getting run thru KG. At one point, Pierce was 8 of 22 and had 7 TOs, but he hit his last 4 shots and stopped turning it over (except when he let the clock run down when the Hawks didn’t foul) partially b/c he was able to get some rest on the court.
    I would like to give a nod of my head to Keyon Dooling, who has 66% of the C’s made 3s in this series.
    Just an incredible win.

  • Noori

    Couldn’t agree more KY Celts fan, so many people were under the notion the series ended at Game 1???

  • Good point but man almost any other team other then Sixers, Hawks, and Cavs/Heat he would be the best SF ever on their team. ok maybe Golden State or Lakers but I think he is better then Barry and Worthy/Baylor

  • Pierce showed Rondo how to be a pro tonight.

  • Danno

    Funny, I don’t remember any one single person saying the series was over. Just a few who weren’t blindly defending Rondo for his selfishness.
    It was a great win. Let’s not ruin it with childish insults, eh?

  • The lineup of KG Pierce Quis Avery and Pietrus/Dooling won the game for us.
    Loved the D by KG, Quis, Dooling, and Avery.
    Can’t say enough about Pierce’s play. 14 rebounds was every big as 36 points.
    On to the next one

  • Pierce had his Jamal Tinsley moment once upon a time, Rondo’s gonna be alright

  • manny

    Anyway…Has anyone noticed how Brandon Bass has not really had a good game for the last couple of weeks. Of all the starters hes had the least rest(except Bradley).He is yet to have his input on the series offensively. We will need him if we are to make a deep run in the playoffs.

  • I was SO impressed w/our defense in the 4th. Doc/KG knew that the offense just was not functioning well tonight(duh) and won this game in the 4th on stingy, gritty defense. These guys held the Hawks to 4 FG’s in the entire 4th and no FG’s for the first 4.5 minutes of the qtr. Pierce took over, but I also love how KG didn’t have his best outside shot going, so he took it down low for bully-ball. KG got to the line and buried all 4 of his FT’s in the final 6 or so minutes. Huge win for this team and huge boost for their confidence after the G1 debacle. Love this squad. Can’t wait to go to the games this weekend!

  • Nora

    Where are you ATL loser trolls now? Word of advice: Keep Quiet!

  • What a night for the captain, I think one of his best ever. I thought Avery had another solid game too, his defense seems to fuel the others. The guy I’m slightly concerned about is Bass, at the very least he’s due for a good game.

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    Great win!
    At some point in the third I thought the game was kinda slippin’ away after some atrocious turnovers, but the Captain proved once again who’s the emotional leader of this team.
    Why Stiemsma played so low? He looked very good out there.

  • Jon

    NUFF dissing on Rondo already…come on people, lets all move on, Rondo made the mistake fine, He will learn from it next time, last time I remember our dear Captain had some dumb moments in his earlier years as well, even KG’s Dumb elbowgate thing in the Miami series….Superstars do this sort of things sometimes to fire up their teammates.
    Take away that last 41 seconds of game 1 were Rondo made the bone head move and he was actually the only one that showed up…Where was the captain and KG during the first 3 qtrs?, we would not have been down 19 if both OLDIES were hitting and doing what their suppose to do….STOP IT ALREADY!!!

  • James Eisenman

    This was terrific Celtics basketball. Yes, Paul and putjinthehall, we are just fine without Rondo. Who’s the best player on this team? Notice the ability to play 5-man lockdown defense once Rondo is NOT one of the 5? Pierce is actually a better player without Rondo. He is a much better offensive player when he is leading the charge rather than receiving the ball. Rondo should watch the tape. Notice how Avery shut down Teague in the 4th despite how hot he was earlier. That’s real defense, not Rondo trolling the lane for steals while his man is shooting open 3’s. Long live the real Celtics!!

  • KY Celts fan


  • Yeah, fuck chachee.
    He also would trade Rondo for a FIRST ROUND PICK (!).

  • The nod to Keyon to me was his defense.

  • I for one believe Boston can beat ATL ANYWHERE. I just hope they don’t need 7 games to do it. Rest is a good thing and you know Chicago will close their series out soon.
    Epic game by Truth.
    Awesome team win by C’s.
    Now keep home court this week end guys.

  • putRajonRondointhehall

    you are such a jackass I can’t even understand it.
    Yes, all we need is for Paul Pierce to play all world every game and we are all set, good point old man eisenman.

  • James Eisenman

    There you are. I got the gopher to show his tiny head and spew some more stupidity. At least you changed your screen name to something that fits your small mind much better and you’ve left one of my idols alone. DJ had been rolling over in his grave along with Red while you used DJ’s name. As usual, you’re incapable of understanding anything. I never said that PP will have games like that every game. I simply pointed out that PP is actually often more effective as an offensive player when Rondo is not playing. I also pointed out that our team was able to have a 5-man rotation play lockdown defense, again, because Rondo was NOT there. Unless you want someone to lock down the paint in the key. Hey, maybe that’s how Rondo gets in the Hall of Fame. They can hire him to guard the paint of the keys on the court downstairs after he retires. Hmmm.:-)