The Hawks are very, very good. The Celtics are pretty bad. At least this is what we thought coming into the night, and in the first half, it seemed as if that was the case, as the Hawks blew the Celtics out of the building. Part of that was the Hawks being great (52% shooting, assists on 14 of their 20 buckets, fantastic defense), and part of that was on the Celtics looking like a team that was ready for a weeks long break (24% shooting (seriously), mental mistakes all over the defensive end of the floor). The Cs looked lethargic, and their guards in particular were awful. Marcus Smart had the worst half of his young career, shooting 1-8 and turning the ball over four times, while Avery Bradley shot 2-8. The Hawks ball movement was great, and it led to many easy buckets, and a 49-34 halftime lead for the ATL.
Marcus Thornton started the second half in place of Smart, and immediately hit two threes to cut the Hawks lead down a bit. Jared Sullinger had a strong quarter as well, putting up 11 points and 7 boards in the 3rd alone. However, despite some signs of life, the Celtics couldn't make a big enough dent in the deficit, and went into the 4th quarter down by 11.
The effort continued throughout the fourth quarter, and the Celtics used an 8-0 run halfway through the fourth to cut a 14 point deficit down to 6. The Cs finally went over 30% shooting for the night, and a pair of huge threes by Smart and Bradley brought the Celts all the way to within one, 88-87, with less than a minute to go. The Cs then got two key stops on the Hawks, setting themselves up with 6.4 seconds left and a chance to win.
Enter Evan Turner.
Turner hit a gliding floater in the paint with just 0.2 seconds left, knocking off the Hawks, and sending the Celtics into the break winners of four of their last five games.
It was a pretty incredible effort considering how bad they looked in the first half, and how good Atlanta has looked just about all season. But the Cs have played well of late, winning 7 of 12 since their surprising win in Portland (keyed by another last second shot by Turner).
Somehow, the Celtics enter the All-Star break just 1.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Pretty wild.
Here's a look at the incredibly gross box score. Still not sure how they won. But they did (click to enlarge).
Michael Dyer 2/11/2015 09:53:00 PM Tweet Edit