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.
We check in with the playmaker, the great number 88 Michael Irvin for his unique take on deflategate, the Patriots and the NFL.
Ben Volin has been a must-read on the Pats and Deflategate despite him ruffling the feathers of many Pats fans and he joins NFL Sunday to discuss the latest. He talks about the owners' meetings and what he expects to unfold this week as well as the showdown between Goodell and Kraft.
The guys provide more thoughts on the latest on Deflategate and get callers' reaction.
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.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton speak to Red Sox Manager John Farrell live from Fenway Park for our weekly visit.
Joe & Dave talked to the rookie Sox catcher, who knocked in the go-ahead run against Felix Hernandez.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino fater the Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 and saw some great defense from Shane as well as a solo HR from him.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
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!
Shirley Leung joins Dino, Gerry and Kirk to look at Boston's Olympic hopes.
Stephen A. joined us to discuss Tom Brady's suspension.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys talk about the charges surrounding one of the stars of 19 Kids and Counting and what TLC should do with the show.
Lou, Christian and Greg react to their interview with Bill Polian and take calls from listeners to get their take on the latest surrounding Deflategate.
With all the Deflategate news, Lou hasn't had a chance to complain about the Red Sox and their poor start. Christian and Greg give Lou a minute to get all his thoughts out as fast as he can.
David Letterman has wrapped up his show and we picked out four of our favorite moments from his career.
Roger Goodell's integrity and credibility is in question and Sally Jenkins wrote a scathing piece on Roger Goodell joins us.
Mikey Adams is joined by Chris Villani as they take calls on the Friday night Two Minute Drill and discuss the ongoing DeflateGate saga with the New England Patriots and Roger Goodell's role in hearing the Tom Brady appeal.
Continued conversation on deflate-gate and the aftermath of the Brady suspension and sanctions passed down to the Patriots organization
Deflate-gate is still the hot topic, still gaining personal insight and what could come next
Julian Edlow of the Green Street Blog and Draftkings.com joins the program to break down the the two conference finals series, the NBA Draft, and whether or not Corey Brewer is the ugliest player in the game?
Ben, Russ, and Alex recap the Revs loss to Sporting KC and discuss what the Revs need moving forward. Also discussed is the FFP and how it will affect the transfer window.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss Dino's rehab experience.
Stephen A. joined us to discuss Tom Brady's suspension.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton listen in on Roger Goodell's conversation with the media at the owner's meetings, and most Patriots fans cannot believe their owner capitulated to this empty suit. We react with you.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry continue to discuss and take reaction to deflategate, with the latest wrinkles coming from the NFL social media department taking shots at the organization even after Robert Kraft capitulated to his team's punishment.More from this show