1st quarters have gone pretty well for the Celtics lately, and tonight was no different. Avery Bradley got off to another fast start, with 10 first quarter points, and Boston was up 25-24 after 1. With Kelly Olynyk back in Boston nursing an ankle injury, Kris Humphries saw some early action. Humph was effective, grabbing 3 boards in 5 minutes. Boston led 25-24 after 1Q.
The 2nd quarter is where the Hawks really started to build momentum. Boston again had turnover issues, and ATL turned 6 Celtics turnovers into 11 of their 2nd quarter points. The C’s also gave up 20 points in the paint in quarter no. 2. Al Horford and Paul Milsap each had 6 points, and Milsap threw down a vicious dunk that Jared Sullinger will not soon forget. Green and Vitor notched 7 points each in the quarter, preventing Atlanta from opening things up before halftime. The guys in green were down 53-49 at the half.
Celtics opened up the 3rd quarter on a 6-0 run. This was helped by some good Boston defense and poor Atlanta shooting. The Hawks missed their first 7 shots of the quarter, and didn’t get their first bucket until a Horford layup with 8:01 remaining in the 3rd. The Celtics, most notably Jared Sullinger, came out with some fire in the quarter, but it was quickly extinguished by missed shots. Celtics were an atrocious 4 of 15 from the field and 0 of 5 from downtown in the 3rd. Atlanta wasn’t much better, but once again had their way in the paint. Atlanta’s 14 points in the paint were almost more than Boston’s 15 total points in the quarter. We headed to the 4th down 10. 74-64 Hawks.
In the 4th quarter, the Celtics showed some serious fight. Just when you thought Atlanta was going to put the finishing touches on another Celtics loss, Boston said “hell no-we won’t go.” They managed to keep the turnovers to a minimum and really tightened-up on defense. But the big story was Jordan Crawford. Crawford scored 10 of his 12 points in the quarter, and lit a fire under the ass of Boston’s offense with some impressive drives to the basket. Couple that with the Celtics holding Atlanta to 13 pts on 5 of 23 shooting (including 1 of 7 from three) and the C’s end their losing streak with a 97-84 win.
C’s now have the rest of the weekend off before playing the Bobcats in Charlotte on Monday.
- Obviously we start this section with Crawford. The man known as “Steez” ignited this team in the 4th, putting in 10 points in the quarter on some beautiful drives. Crawford finished w/12 pts, 10 asts & 3 rebs.
- Jared Sullinger was once again crucial to the C’s success. Sully showed no ill effects from being under the weather yesterday, scoring 15 pts to go w/9 rebs.
- Brandon Bass had 2 big blocks in the final quarter and went 7 of 7 from the line, had 17 pts, 7 rebs & those 2 blks. Jeff Green struggled a bit (4 turnovers & 4 of 10 shooting) but finished with 16 pts & 5 rebounds.
- Hawks scored 29 points on 17 Celtics turnovers
The Grid: (quick stats)
- Boston went on a 10-2 run in the final 3:12 of the game
- Atlanta was 5 of 20 from three-point range
- Celtics hit 24 of 31 free-throw attempts