Celtics let Hawks pull away in the end, fall 105-97

In typical 2013-2014 Boston Celtic fashion, the C's fought hard, held a late lead, and let the game slip through their fingers down the stretch.  The Hawks closed things out on a 25-8 run, earning themselves a 105-97 victory.

The loss, combined with Orlando's 115-111 win over Brooklyn, moved the Celtics into a dead-heat with the Magic for the third worst record in the NBA (23-55).  It was the ninth consecutive defeat for Boston, and a team-record tying 13th straight away from home.

Six Hawks scored in double figures, highlighted by Paul Milsap's 14 points and 14 rebounds.  Avery Bradley led all scorers with 24 points, including 4-4 from beyond the arc.  Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 12 assists, and Jared Sullinger posted a double-double as well with 15 points and 11 boards.

After falling behind by 14 midway through the second quarter, the Celtics cut the deficit to five at halftime, trailing 56-51.  A quick 5-0 run to start the third had the game tied at 56-56, and a floater in the lane from Rondo gave Boston their first lead of the night, 67-66.  The Celtics outscored Atlanta 26-14 in the period, and entered the fourth with a 77-70 advantage.  The Hawks used a 10-0 run capped off by a Kyle Korver three-pointer to regain the lead, 90-89 with just under four minutes to play.

If Danny Ainge wants step in and take Tommy Heinsohn's job, as much as Celtics fans love Tommy, I can't imagine anyone would complain.  Ainge was spectacular as a color commentator for CSNNE, bringing a detailed level of insight and analysis rarely seen in an NBA telecast.  He also had no trouble being forthright and speaking his mind, criticizing his own players when called for.

And for those concerned about tanking, Ainge was adamantly rooting for Boston to win, despite the huge upside the loss had for his club in the lottery standings.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan