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.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated joins the show to talk about the Patriots clinching homefield advantage and who the AFC is contenders.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the Patriots' approach for Sunday's game against Buffalo, a game rendered essentially meaningless now that the Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed.
Bruschi joins the conversation on the Patriots win over the Jets and other games over the weekend.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
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Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
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Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Just like on a Sunday morning in the summer, Butch Stearns and Steve Buckley hit the airwaves to talk about the Bruins win last night, and Patriots possibly resting starters against Buffalo this Sunday.
Nancy Frates called in to discuss her son Pete and her granddaughter Lucy.
Tom joined the show to discuss the close win over the Jets and Rex Ryan's comments.
A Christmas eve edition of "The Price is Right," Chris Price of WEEI.com makes some predictions for the Patriots Sunday afternoon tilt against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about the Bruins, who are in the midst of a 3-game winning streak. The team clearly has deficiencies and may need to make a few moves before the deadline.
Bradford asks everyone who will listen, "Who's the most famous person to use your bathroom?"
Bruins Play-by-Play announcer breaks down the Bruins season so far.
For each of the 4 major sports teams, we give our naughty and nice lists.
Jerry and DJ are out to prove that this Christmas classic is one of the creepiest songs of all-time
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
DJ and Scott reveal the greatest Christmas song of all time: Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs." They also discuss the Christmas outrage of Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" being left off Rumours.
Scott McLaughlin of WEEI and Chris Peters of CBS’ Eye on Hockey preview this year’s World Junior Championship and break down Team USA’s strengths and weaknesses. The U.S. opens the tournament against Finland on Friday.
Sam and Ben react to the Rondo trade and talk about the top 5 players in the NBA. The Celtics get their 2014 superlatives.
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Jackie MacMullan, ESPN, talks with Tim and Steve about the Patriots resting the starters in Week 17. Jackie's argument is that they have a bye, so they're gonna be rusty REGARDLESS of whether or not they play in week 17, so keep them safe. She also spoke about Peyton's MNF performance, and how the Celtics have looked since the trade of Rajon Rondo.More from this show