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Game 4: Hawks at Celtics

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  May 6, 2012 10:41 AM

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The Celtics escaped with an overtime win in Game 3 Friday night, the returns of Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo and the absence of Josh Smith making up for some poor shooting by the home team. Game 3 was just ugly all around. Game 4 could very well determine whether or not this series goes the distance. After a lackluster performance Friday, it's unlikely Celtics fans are looking too far ahead.


Here are the details for tonight's game:

Tip-off: 7 p.m.
Series: Celtics lead, 2-1
Broadcast info: TNT/CSNNE, WEEI/850 AM/93.7 FM (Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell)

Probable starters:

Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

Hawks:
PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kirk Hinrich
SF: Joe Johnson
PF: Josh Smith
C: Jason Collins

Story lines:

Josh Smith: Smith told reporters on Saturday that he plans to play tonight after missing Game 3. Smith's availability would be huge for a Hawks team that played Jason Collins, Erick Dampier and Vladimir Radmonovic a combined 45 minutes Friday. The Hawks found some success by going small, but even in their small lineup Smith would be a revelation.

Pierce's shooting: Paul Pierce put up 21 points Friday despite making just three shots from the field. We've yet to see that spectacular shooting game from Pierce, who is 20 for 57 (35 percent) in this series. The Celtics could use one of those 8 for 11 games from Pierce.

Bradley's shoulder: Avery Bradley left Game 3 with what a source told the Globe's Gary Washburn is a "stinger" in his left shoulder. Bradley may or may not be available in Game 4, which would be a big loss for the Celtics. Jeff Teague gives the Celtics fits, and the loss of their most athletic defender wouldn't help.

News, analysis and commentary from the following Boston Globe and Boston.com writers:

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