Celtics fend off Hawks in OT, 107-102
Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, including several clutch buckets down the stretch and in OT. Kevin Garnett also chipped in 17 points and 8 boards. Josh Smith led the Hawks with a 32-8-9 stat line, but made a number of questionable decisions late in the game.
Pierce got off to a fast start, scoring 11 points on 4-5 shooting (2-2 3PT) in the first quarter, including a spectacular "and one" on a continuation call. Garnett also hit his second three pointer of the season in the period, his first coming in Indiana on Wednesday. It's the only time KG has ever hit threes in consecutive games as a Celtic. Boston led 28-26 after one, and 52-47 at the half. The margin stayed right around 5 for most of the third, and the Celtics took a 72-68 advantage into the final frame.
The C's used a 10-0 run, highlighted by 5 points from Jordan Crawford, to build an 82-70 lead with just over 8 minutes remaining. A soon to be "Sportscenter Top 10" baseline drive and reverse tomahawk dunk from Green made it 88-79 with five minutes to go. Later a tough drive and 3 point play from Jeff Teague, followed by a Smith layup cut the deficit to three, 90-87, with 2:54 left. Kyle Korver hit a 3 to tie the score at 92 at the 1:30 mark. Atlanta had a chance to take the lead late in regulation, but Smith turned it over on a bad pass with 22.8 seconds on the clock. Both teams then missed long jumpers (Garnett and Smith), and Boston was headed to their 11th overtime game (and 16th OT period) of the season.
Notes: The last time these two teams met (when Rondo tore his ACL) the Hawks won 123-111 in double overtime. Tonight Boston's bench outscored their Atlanta counterparts 46-8. The Celtics have now won 5 in a row overall and 9 straight at the Garden.
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