Final: Celtics 89-81: Paul Pierce contributed 26 points while Rajon Rondo collected his second triple double of the season as the Celtics held the Hawks to 25 percent shooting in the second half for an impressive win.
Fourth quarter, 2:00, Celtics 85-79: The Hawks are making it interesting with 5 straight points, including a rare 3-pointer by Josh Smith, who just missed another one that would have made things frantic. Celtics get the rebound and call timeout.
Fourth quarter, 3:10, Celtics 85-74: The Celtics are getting cold from the field but still playing strong defense to keep the lead. The Celtics are 7-for-15 shooting in the quarter. Atlanta is 5-for-23 shooting in the half with 13 turnovers.
Fourth quarter, 8:41, Celtics 79-68: The surge continues as the Celtics refuse to allow the Hawks to rally, matching Atlanta field goal for field goal. The Hawks were 21-for-40 in the first half and 3-for-17 in the second half. Kevin Garnett has 14 points for the Celtics.
End of third quarter, Celtics 71-62: The Celtics outscore the Hawks 33-9 in the third quarter as Paul Pierce goes for 17 points and now has 26. The Celtics made 14 of 25 shots in the period while the Hawks were just two of 14 with seven turnovers.
Third quarter, 2:30, Celtics 63-60: The Celtics are on a stunning 25-7 run, shooting 11-for-21 in the third quarter while the Hawks are 2-for-12 with five turnovers. Paul Pierce, playing with four fouls, has 11 points during the run and it has happened mostly with Kevin Garnett on the bench. Avery Bradley has hit a couple of key shots during the run.
Third quarter, 7:03, Hawks 54-52: Well what do you know? This is what the Celtics look like when they really play with passion. They are now defending, making the extra pass and being aggressive around the basket. Celtics on a 14-1 run. Atlanta is 0-for-5 shooting with three turnovers in second half.
Halftime, Hawks 53-38: The Celtics are playing like they don’t even want to be here, getting used on defense by the combination of Lou Williams and Jeff Teague, who are 14-for-20 combined for 34 points and five 3-pointers. The Hawks are shooting 52.5 percent from the field but they shot 60 percent in the first quarter. As for the Celtics, Paul Pierce has 9 points on 2-for-9 shooting, Rajon Rondo has 4 points and 4 assists while Kevin Garnett has 8 points and three turnovers.
Second quarter, 5:08, Hawks 46-31 A terrible response to the Indiana win for the Celtics. The Hawks are doing anything they want offensively while the Celtics are beginning to hit shots but it doesn’t make a difference when they allow basket after basket.
End of first quarter, Hawks 31-18: A terrible defensive quarter for the Celtics, who allow the Hawks to shoot 60 percent and allow two easy layups by Jeff Teague to end the quarter and that was after Lou Williams dropped 16 points in 11 minutes. The Celtics are 8-for-22 shooting and a combined 0-for-7 from Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
First quarter, 2:55, Hawks 23-12: Lou Williams has taken over the game from the start, he has 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting as the Celtics are off to another slow start. They are 5-for-17 shooting, including 0-for-5 from Paul Pierce, The Hawks are 4 of 7 from the 3-point line.
First quarter, 6:00, Hawks 15-10: The Celtics can’t stop for 76ers Lou Williams, who already has 11 points and three 3-pointers on 4-for-4 shooting. Kevin Garnett has 4 points for the Celtics and Avery Bradley opened with the game’s first basket.
The Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks in a 7 p.m. start as they try to win consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 8-12.