The Celtics‘ interior defense and second half scoring outlasted the Hawks in a 106-93 victory at TD Garden.
The Celtics closed the half on a 7-2 run, and tied the game at 47. They limited the Hawks from getting into the paint — where they did most of their damage in the first half and opened up their biggest lead of the night in the third quarter, a 12-point advantage.
The Celtics forced 16 Hawks turnovers and sparked their offense in the fourth quarter. Boston scored 61 second half points and ran away with the win in the fourth quarter.
Paul Millsap’s 14 points and eight rebounds led six Hawks in double figures. Al Horford (13), Kyle Korver (11), Kent Bazemore (12), Thabo Sefolosha and Dennis Schroder (10) all chipped in but it wasn’t enough to counter the Celtics’ second half scoring outburst.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
STUD OF THE NIGHT: Amir Johnson
Amir Johnson got things going on the Hawks’ first possession when he blocked Al Horford’s shot and sparked the Celtics offense. Johnson amassed eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals to go with his 19 points. He also played phenomenal interior defense against Atlanta, limiting them from entering the paint.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Jeff Teague
Teague had a tough time finding his offensive rhythm against the Celtics. He finished with six points on 2-of-6 shooting, the Celtics did a good job limiting his drives to the hoop.
VINE OF THE NIGHT: Three passes. No dribble.
WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart’s health
Smart had another sub-par night at TD Garden. Marcus looks like he’s far from 100 percent (right foot). He struggled defensively on his assignments (Kyle Korver & Kent Bazemore), and offensively he wasn’t moving the ball like he usually does. Coach Stevens may have jumped the gun by inserting Marcus into the starting lineup, he played over 30 minutes tonight.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Team rebounding.
The Celtics out-rebounded the Hawks by a significant margin (50-35). Jared Sullinger’s grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder both finished with eight and Evan Turner grabbed five from off the bench.
@ OF THE NIGHT