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.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price examine what direction the Patriots might take in the upcoming NFL draft and how the team will go about filing their needs, including replacing Darrelle Revis. Petraglia and Price also take a close look at the Patriots' 2015 schedule and what to expect this season.
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox super utility man Brock Holt, who hit the game winning 3 run home run that propelled the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles, and played some stellar defense to seal the win.
Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
Dale and Michael check in with the Red Sox manager John Farrell for his weekly take on all things Boston Red Sox.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk argue about whether or not Tom Brady's absence from the Patriots' trip to the White House was disrespectful or not.
Led by Christian Fauria, the guys delve into 5 topics relating to all the hometown teams. There is a new intro by a special guest, plus Lou Merloni, DJ extraordinaire, nails the post.
The guys debate whether or not the Celtics even have a chance against the Cavs in game 4 and what the mentality of fans should be.
We check in with Senior White House Correspondent Joe Zarbano on this edition of Aloha Friday
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Dale and Michael discuss some news on deflategate as the 100 day mark approaches us.
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Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
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Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.More from this show
Dale and Michael discuss some news on deflategate as the 100 day mark approaches us.More from this show