Final, Hawks 87-86: Well the Celtics had their chances. Rajon Rondo stole the inbounds pass, raced down the court too fast and then Josh Smith knocked his pass to Kevin Garnett away as time expired. A tough loss because the Celtics didn’t even get a shot off.
Fourth quarter, 10.9, Hawks 87-86: Paul Pierce cans a 3-pointer but then when the Celtics get a stop, airballs a 17-footer that would have given the Celtics the lead. Hawks ball. The Celtics have to foul again to send Atlanta to the free throw line.
Fourth quarter, 59.6, Hawks 87-83: Al Horford has been the difference and he completes a dunk off a swing pass from Jeff Teague and then gets a midrange jumper to bounce in the hoop. He has 19 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett misses a 12-footer and Paul Pierce misses a layup. Celtics ball.
Fourth quarter, 2:39, Tied at 83: Just like that the Celtics come back with a 7-0 run, the final bucket Ray Allen’s second 3-pointer of the game. And Paul Pierce returned to the party with a leaning jumper. Hawks ball.
Fourth quarter, 4:18, Hawks 83-76: Atlanta responds from the Celtics 19-3 run with a 14-3 run of its own as the Hawks are being aggressive and Josh Smith has warmed up after starting the game 0-for-8 shooting. He is now 6 for 16. The Hawks have turned Rajon Rondo into a shooter again and he’s missed 11 of 17 shots.
Fourth quarter, 6:23, Hawks 77-74: Atlanta is on an 8-1 run after the Celtics took a 73-69 lead on Ray Allen’s 3-pointer. Josh Smith hit consecutive buckets, Al Horford canned a baseline jumper and then Marvin Williams dunked off a Smith-led fastbreak. The Celtics have suddenly gone cold after a 19-3 run to take the lead. They will need Paul Pierce, who is back in the game after a long rest, to make some plays.
Fourth quarter, 8:53, Celtics 70-68: The Celtics are on a 16-2 run, sparked by Rajon Rondo, who has 13 points and eight assists. Ryan Hollins has played key minutes off the bench with two dunks. Paul Pierce has been laboring with that left knee injury and is on the bench in his warmups.
End of third quarter, Hawks 66-64: The Celtics looked done until a stirring 10-0 run to end the period, started by a dunk from Ryan Hollins, Rajon Rondo then responded with 6 straight points and Mickael Pietrus ended the quarter with a layup off a Rondo steal to make it interesting again. Hawks were 9 for 16 from the field in the quarter.
Third quarter, 2:54, Hawks 65-54: This one is beginning to slip away as the Hawks are feeding off the crowd and the Celtics have no answer for Al Horford, who has made a big difference in the paint. The Celtics are 11-for-29 shooting since the first quarter and while Brandon Bass has a team-leading 14 points, the Celtics are a minus-18 when he’s on the floor.
Third quarter, 5:28, Hawks 56-52: After playing a near flawless first half defensively, suddenly the Celtics can’t get stops and it’s become an offensive game. The teams have spent the past four minutes trading baskets after Atlanta started the quarter on a 8-2 run. Al Horford has 6 points in the third quarter and is becoming a factor in the series.
Halftime, Tied at 40: The Hawks went on a 3-point barrage, hitting four in a 2-minute span to briefly take the lead before Rajon Rondo tied it at halftime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Celtics have been putrid offensively but were solid on defense until the final 2 minutes of the half. Brandon Bass leads the Celtics with 10 points. Rondo only has two assists. Joe Johnson leads Atlanta with 11 points on 11 shots.
Second quarter, 2:25, Celtics 33-28: The Celtics are 4-for-14 shooting in the second quarter with five turnovers and are still clinging to the lead. Rajon Rondo has just 2 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds, hardly putting his imprint on the game as he did the past two.
Second quarter, 5:17, Celtics 29-24: The Hawks are visibly trying to get Joe Johnson going and he’s hit two straight buckets while the Celtics haven’t scored a field goal in nearly 4 minutes. Ray Allen has 7 points but he has also missed two free throws. Paul Pierce still leads all scorers with 9 points.
Second quarter, 8:06, Celtics 28-20: The Celtics are not real fluid offensively right now but they are playing strong defense as the Hawks have missed 20 of 28 shots. The biggest culprit is Josh Smith, who is 0 for 8. Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 9 points and Ray Allen has added spark off the bench with 6 and has two free throws coming.
End of first quarter, Celtics 21-15: Kevin Garnett has begun to warm up, scoring the final 5 points of the first quarter, including a long 2-pointer at the buzzer as the Celtics are trying to stave off the Hawks’ early energy. The Hawks made just six of 21 shots in the quarter and Josh Smith is busy complaining to officials. He does appear focused.
First quarter, 2:48, Celtics 15-11: The Celtics have slowed down and the Hawks have picked up the pace, although they look frazzled offensively. The Celtics have hit two of their past nine shots while Paul Pierce leads the way with 9 points. Jeff Teague has 5 points for Atlanta, which is 4-for-16 shooting.
First quarter, 8:09, Celtics 11-3: The Celtics are trying to take the crowd out of the game and are off to a strong start as the Celtics fans are deep here at Philips Arena. The Hawks are 1-for-5 shooting with three turnovers and coach Larry Drew called a quick timeout to calm things down. Paul Pierce has already hit a 3-pointer and followed with a dunk.