Behind Paul Pierce’s 17 points in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics prove that Celtic Pride is still alive, as they beat the Hawks 89-81 tonight in Atlanta. Celtics looked absolutely flat in the 1st & 2nd and trailed by 19 at one point, and 15 at the half. They were firing-up jumpers, playing awful defense and looked like they were going to be blown-out. But then came the 3rd quarter. The C’s turned-up the defensive intensity, remained focused and took over. Their defense held the Hawks to 9 points in the 3rd quarter and Paul Pierce’s ridiculous shooting display took the wind out of Atlanta’s sails. Huge win for Boston and huge confidence boost for a team trying to turn things around.
- The Captain once again put the C’s on his shoulders. His 17 3rd quarter points helped the Celtics gain momentum and head into the 4th up 71-62. Pierce finished with a game-high 26 points
- Rajon Rondo came out with fire in his eyes after a lackluster 1st half. His diving on the floor for a loose ball was the turning point on the defensive end for the C’s. He also attacked the rack and “found his shooters“, as he said postgame, during his spectacular 2nd half.
- KG pulled Rondo to the side near the end of the 1st half for a “pep talk”. Not sure what he said, but it worked. He also showed his worth on the court (again) by keeping the C’s from getting completely destroyed in the 1st half. Ticket had a great stat line of 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals & 1 block.
- Brandon Bass hit some clutch shots down the stretch and had a solid night: 5 of 6 for 10 points to go with 4 boards, 3 steals and a block.
- Jared Sullinger continued to shine and leave his stamp on Celtics wins. Sully grabbed 9 boards and put in 8 points in 24 minutes.
- The Celtics first half defense. Lou Williams did whatever he wanted and absolutely torched the C’s guards.
- C’s struggled from downtown, going 3 of 16 for 18.8%
The Grid: (quick stats)
- C’s defense held Hawks to 2-9 from 3pt and 2-14 for .143 FG% in the decisive 3rd quarter
- Rajon Rondo netted his 25th career triple-double with 14 points, 10 assists & 11 rebounds
- 10 different Boston Celtics scored in tonight’s win
- C’s grabbed twice as many offensive rebounds as Atlanta-16 to Hawks’ 8
- Celtics defense tallied 11 steals
Boston has now won two in a row, and travel to NYC for a meeting with the Knicks. Tip-off at MSG is at 7:30pm on Monday night. Should be a good one..