Celtics subdue Hawks
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Al Jefferson scored 23 points and pulled down
nine rebounds as Boston routed Atlanta, 109-88, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Paul Pierce added 17 points for the Celtics, who snapped a two-game skid and
won for just the ninth time at home this season. Rajon Rondo chipped in with
13 points and 10 assists, while Kendrick Perkins had 12 points and 12
“Defensively, it was phenomenal on our part,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
“We didn’t come out the first 3-4 minutes and play great defense, but after
that I thought that we were terrific.”
Josh Smith tallied 19 points and six boards for the Hawks, who lost for the
second time in six games. Marvin Williams and Anthony Johnson each finished
with 17 points and Williams also pulled down eight rebounds.
“Unacceptable. We took a back seat tonight to the Celtics,” Atlanta coach Mike
Woodson said. “I thought they played well from the beginning to end. We came
out ready to play and as soon as they hit us we went the other way and that is
kind of disappointing because we have been playing pretty good basketball. We
played nothing like the way we played the last four games.”
The Celtics took a slim 26-25 advantage after the opening 12 minutes and
extended their lead to 50-41 at intermission.
Boston then put things away with a brilliant third quarter. A 14-0 run
featuring consecutive Rondo lay-ins gave the Celtics a commanding 70-49 lead
with 4:48 left in the frame.
Perkins’ slam about 2 1/2 minutes later gave Boston a 27-point cushion, 80-53.
The Celtics continued to cruise from there and took a comfortable 86-60 lead
into the final frame.
The Hawks did manage to close to within 15 points, 88-73, on a pair of Smith
free throws with 7:21 left.
But, the Celtics recovered over the next several minutes. Brian Scalabrine
buried a turnaround jumper with 5:20 left to extend Boston’s lead back to 20,
The Celtics waltzed to the finish line from there.
Atlanta was attempting to win a season-best fifth straight…The Hawks are now
12-22 on the road this season…The Celtics are a dismal 9-23 at home