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WEEI » This Just In » Late show: C's, Allen explode late for win
Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:11pm  

Late show: C's, Allen explode late for win

After missing 30 of their first 45 shots, the Celtics exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter, including a sharpshooting display from Ray Allen, on their way to a 79-76 win over the Hawks Monday nght at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The Celtics had to survive an 11-0 run by the Hawks late that made it a four-point game, 75-71, but Mickael Pietrus hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it a five-point lead. Joe Johnson nailed a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds remain to cut Boston's lead to one, 77-76. After two Paul Pierce free throws, Jeff Teague airmailed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with under five seconds remaining and Rajon Rondo inbounded to Pierce, who dribbled out the clock.

Allen drilled 4-of-5 from 3-point range and led Boston with 19 points while Rondo had 10 points and 13 assists. 

The Celtics were unable to find any offensive rhythm early but were saved by the fact that the Hawks were likewise unable to get going in the first quarter. Atlanta took a 15-12 lead after 12 minutes. The Celtics improved slightly in the second quarter, scoring 19 points and trailing by just two at halftime, 33-31. 

The teams continued to look like they were stuck in mud in the third quarter, combining for 37 points, but the quarter ended in dramatic fashion. Rondo ball-faked to Kevin Garnett and found Allen open on the right baseline. Allen drilled a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to cut Atlanta's lead to one, 51-50, heading into the fourth. 

Pierce found Pietrus with a perfect cross-court pass and Pietrus slammed down a one-handed jam with 10:47 left in the fourth to give the Celtics their first lead since the first quarter. Pierce then hit consecutive jumpers to cap a 17-4 run to put the Celtics up 56-51. The Hawks responded with the next five points to tie the game, but the Celtics went on a 17-2 run to take a 73-58 lead on three straight treys, two from Allen sandwiched around one from Pietrus. 

The Celtics improve to 3-3 on their season-long eight-game road trip, with games remaining Thursday in Milwaukee and Friday in Philadelphia. The Celtics kept pace with the Sixers in the Atlantic Division, just 1.5 games back of Philadelphia, which beat Charlotte Monday night. 

For complete coverage, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog. 




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