The Celtics are moving on to the next round of the playoffs.
Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 14 rebounds as the Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 83-80, in Game 6 of a first-round playoff series at TD Garden Thursday night.
Even in a series that changed by the minute, Game 6 was a quirky, strange little game. Al Horford played 46 minutes for Atlanta. The Hawks were paced for much of the game by Marvin Williams. Ray Allen missed two big free throws, and Ryan Hollins got a clutch offensive rebound when the Celtics needed it most. The only sure thing Thursday night was Garnett’s dominance.
The Celtics used a 16-0 run in the middle of the second quarter to take a 47-41 lead at the break. The teams traded runs in the second half before the Celtics survived and advanced with free throws at the finish.
With Philadelphia defeating the Chicago Bulls earlier tonight, the Celtics are assured of homecourt advantage in a series against the Sixers starting Saturday.
Final: Celtics 83, Hawks 80: Pierce hits both free throws and seals the deal.
1.3 seconds, Celtics 81-80: Joe Johnson takes it to the hoop. Smart play, but Pierce comes up with the block. Hawks get the ball back. Marquis Daniels fouls Horford in the post. Horford misses the first of two free throws.
9.3 seconds, Celtics 81-79: Huge shot by KG. Josh Smith takes a jumper for the Hawks and misses. Ray Allen gets fouled. Makes just one.
1:24 4th quarter, Hawks 79-78: Al Horford, who has played 44 minutes in this game, makes a huge bucket there. Rajon Rondo turns it over on an up-and-down. Bad time for that.
3:52 4th quarter, Celtics 76-75: Such a strange game. Garnett sits for a few minutes and the Hawks take full advantage. It’s hard to tell which team deserves to win. Gut feeling is the Celtics have one more good run in them.
6:34 4th quarter, Celtics 74-65: The Celtics kept the lead with Rondo out of the game. That’s huge.
9:29 4th quarter, Celtics 72-65: Josh Smith chirping to the official and gets called for a technical. Hawks need to stop running their mouths and giving away free points.
End 3d quarter, Celtics 67-63: What a weird game. Rajon Rondo hits a jumper to end the quarter. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce both missed technical free throws. The Celtics are shooting better, have more rebounds, and have fewer turnovers than the Hawks, and we’re almost even.
1:01 3d quarter, Celtics 65-60: Joe Johnson hits a 3-pointer, but Erick Dampier gets called for a technical. Erick Dampier getting a technical? What exactly is he out there for then?
3:10 3d quarter, Celtics 62-55: Ryan Hollins once again playing important second-half minutes. The Sixers just won, meaning the winner of this series gets Philly.
7:02 3d quarter, Celtics 53-51: Marvin Williams has 14 points.
8:11 3d quarter, Celtics 51-45: Horford picks up the charge running into Pierce. Three fouls on Horford.
10:32 3d quarter, Celtics 49-43: Jeff Teague called for a technical foul after some funny business with Rajon Rondo in the post.
Halftime, Celtics 47-41: They could have closed better, but the Celtics have to be happy with their turnaround at the end of the second quarter. They’re up to 48 percent shooting. They’ve forced 10 Atlanta turnovers.
2:50 2d quarter, Celtics 43-33: Celtics playing in a different gear. Rondo just blew by four defenders and got to the hoop for a layup. These Celtics won’t lose this game. The Celtics we saw a few minutes ago? Different story.
5:59 2d quarter, Celtics 34-31: Rondo is getting the Celtics going. His fourth assist found Kevin Garnett, who had Al Horford sealed under the hoop. The Celtics are leading despite playing poorly earlier. All that matters is how they play from here on out.
6:58 2d quarter, Hawks 31-30: Paul Pierce with a strong move to the rack, gets grabbed by Hinrich and finishes off the play.
8:55 2d quarter, Hawks 28-23: With both Rondo and Pierce sitting the Celtics have no focus on offense. It’s a train wreck out there. Marvin Williams has 11 points.
10:33 2d quarter, Hawks 25-20: Just an awful flow for the Celtics on offense. Bad shots, passes, decisions.
End 1st quarter, Hawks 23-20: Kirk Hinrich beats the buzzer and the Celtics trail by three. C’s are shooting 35 percent compared to 50 percent for Atlanta.
2:09 1st quarter, Hawks 19-18: Stiemsma with the big block on the baseline, leading to a timeout. Nothing in this game has gone to plan. Such is the playoffs.
3:24 1st quarter, Hawks 19-15: Seams dead in here. Marvin Williams now has eight points. Paul Pierce has yet to come out. Greg Stiemsma is the first big man off the bench for Boston.
7:26 1st quarter, Celtics 7-6 Brandon Bass is 2 for 2 on jump shots. Paul Pierce still looks gimpy. Avery Bradley is wearing a sleeve on his left shoulder (think the t-shirt you wore under your jersey in middle school).
10:37 1st quarter, Hawks 5-0: Marvin Williams has all give points for the Hawks. Ominous.
Pre-game: Everyone’s playing. Last home game this series for the Celtics. Let’s get it.