Josh Smith scored 22 points and hauled in 18 rebounds to lead the Hawks to an 83-74 win over the Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 11 assists but lost his cool after a foul call on a loose ball scramble with 41 seconds left. He yelled at and bumped official Marc Davis. He faces a potential suspension for Game 2 Tuesday night.
Brandon Bass and Smith were in a scramble for a loose ball and Bass appeared to rake Smith across the face when Davis called the foul on Bass. Rondo thought it was a jump ball situation. Rondo lost control and went after Davis before bumping him with his chest and getting ejected.
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 12 rebounds but the pair had little offensive support as Paul Pierce went just 5-for-19 from the field and finished with 12 points.
Avery Bradley went just 4-of-12 and the Celtics shot just 39 percent from the field. The Hawks were without Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia, and Joe Johnson shot just 3-for-15 from the field.
The game couldn't have started much worse for the Celtics. They came out ice cold while the Hawks came out hitting seven of their first nine shots, helping them race out to a 29-12 lead. Rondo led the C's offensive effort with 12 points in the first quarter, but the rest of the team could never get going. Still, the Celtics cut the Hawks' lead to 13 at 31-18 after one quarter, and the Celtics showed signs of getting back into the game, even without the services of Ray Allen, out with a chronically sore left ankle after his injury in early March.
The Celtics briefly got the deficit under double digits at 34-25 before the Hawks scored the next eight points. The Celtics were led by Rondo's 12 points, but Garnett and Bradley combined to make just 4-of-19 shots from the field and the C's trailed 49-35 at the half.
The Celtics fell behind by as much as 19, 64-45, late in the third quarter before outscoring the Hawks 8-1 to end the third quarter and trail by just 10, 65-55, heading into the fourth.
The Celtics used a 7-0 run late in the fourth to cut the Atlanta lead to five, 71-66. But Smith hit a jumper to answer. Bass responded with a jumper with 3:28 left to narrow the lead down to five again, 73-68. But with the shot clock winding down, Jeff Teague drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to build the lead back up to eight, 76-68, with just over three minutes left.
Garnett hit a jumper on the next possession to trim the deficit back to six, but Pierce missed an open 3-pointer and Teague hit a runner in the lane to push the margin back to eight. Pierce hit a jumper with 1:01 left to cut the Atlanta lead to four, 78-74.
Game 2 is set for Tuesday night in Atlanta before the series shifts to Boston for Games 3 and 4 Friday and Sunday nights at TD Garden.
Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas talk with Cornerback Malcolm Butler in the lockerroom after the Patriots handily beat the Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl 51.
Fauria calls the boys to give his take on the game today and why he sees a Patriots victory on the horizon - although he says he's getting more and more nervous as kickoff approaches. He gets into the match-ups, "fire alarm-gate", how the Steelers D will approach the Pats - zone or man, and more.
The boys chat about the importance of the versatility of Dont'a Hightower and his impact on the Pats D throughout his career but especially this season.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.
Tim Hasselbeck joins the show.
Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a Patriots Monday after a Patriots AFC Title game win and a Tom Brady appearance with Kirk & Gerry.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Tom Brady joins the show the morning after winning the AFC championship for the seventh time. Brady talks about the upcoming Super Bowl and his call to President Donald Trump.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.More from this show
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.More from this show
Hour 1. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, which means Kirk and Gerry are going to Houston. Tom Brady joins the show.More from this show
Pete goes on an impassioned rant about the Boston Bruins management and ownership amid rumors that the team would be announcing the firing of Claude Julien in coming days.More from this show