Wednesday , Nov , 23 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Hawks get by Celtics: Earn first win

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Al Harrington poured in 34 points and pulled
down six rebounds, as Atlanta finally posted its first win of the season by
squeaking past the Boston Celtics, 120-117, at Philips Arena.

Zaza Pachulia added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who entered the
contest off to their worst start in franchise history by losing their first
nine games. Salim Stoudamire scored 19 points off the bench for Atlanta, which
won despite turning the ball over nine times in the fourth quarter.

“Nine games in a row is a lot of games,” Harrington said. “It seems like we
weren’t ever going to win one. We knew we were close every game. We were
having letdowns in the second half, but tonight we didn’t have that letdown
and we got it done. We played for 48 minutes.”

Joe Johnson scored 13 points and hit three free throws in the final minute to
seal the win for the Hawks, who shot 55.6 percent from the field.

Paul Pierce had 33 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who
have lost four of their last five overall and remained winless in four road
games this season. Ricky Davis had 25 points and seven assists, while Raef
LaFrentz added 18 points, and Dan Dickau scored 14 for Boston.

“It’s definitely tougher to take,” Pierce said about giving up Atlanta’s first
win. “The team was struggling. The team who hasn’t been shooting the ball
well, we give them probably their highest point total of the season.”

The game was tied at 96 going into the final quarter, and although Atlanta
never trailed in the period, the Hawks didn’t seal the victory until the
closing seconds.

Davis hit two free throws with 1:53 remaining to draw Boston within 115-112.
The Hawks then had a shot clock violation, but LaFrentz missed a three-pointer
and Stoudamire was called for an offensive foul.

The Celtics couldn’t take advantage though, as LaFrentz threw the ball out of
bounds on a pass attempt to Davis with under a minute left.

Pachulia hit two free throws with 33.4 seconds left before a layup from Orien
Greene cut Boston’s deficit to 117-114 with 25.4 seconds remaining.

Johnson hit one foul shot nearly three seconds later and Davis back-rimmed a
three-point attempt. Johnson would add two more free throws with 11.9 seconds
left, before Pierce hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

Harrington had 24 points in the first half, as Atlanta led 61-60 at the break.
The game remained tight throughout the third quarter, as neither club led by
more than seven throughout the contest.

Game Notes

This marked Atlanta’s first game against an Eastern Conference opponent this
season…This was a season-high in points for the Hawks…Boston went 3-1
against the Hawks in 2004-05. In those four games, the Celtics shot a
blistering 51.4 percent from the field, while holding Atlanta to just 41.6
percent…Atlanta has won four of its last five home games against
Boston…The Celtics shot 54.8 percent from the field…Harrington was 11-
of-18 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the foul line…The teams combined to
make 60-of-67 free throws…Boston was 11-of-19 from three-point range.