Celtics squander golden opportunity, lose game 3

With the chance to go up 3-0 in the series on Friday night, Boston was unable to do so, falling 130-122 to the Hawks in Atlanta. Boston now leads the series 2-1, with a pivotal game 4 upcoming on Sunday night. Tonight shows that no matter how well you shoot from behind the arc, nothing else matters if you don't play defense.
Despite knocking down 15 threes in the first half, Boston found themselves in a 7-point hole at the break. The Celtics were able to tie it a few times after halftime, but never got over the hump because of their poor defensive effort. 

Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston with 29 points and 10 rebounds but had a huge missed three in the final minute with the chance to tie the game. Marcus Smart also had a great game for the Celtics with 24 points and 8 assists, but it wasn't quite enough to overcome Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

After two subpar games in Boston, Young bounced back with 32 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds in a must-win game. Murray contributed 25 points, with him and Young both hitting multiple clutch shots in the 4th quarter to seal it.
I said after game 2 that the only way Atlanta wins is if they continue to dominate the offensive glass which would allow their role players to get into a rhythm. Sure enough, Atlanta was a +19 on the boards tonight including 11 offensive rebounds that led to extra possessions. As a result, the Hawks shot 56% from the floor, which is by far their best mark in the series.

After scoring 102.5 points per game in the first two games, the Hawks hung 130 on the Celtics tonight when it mattered most. Atlanta got 44 points from their bench, with 30 combined between Bogdanovic and Bey, who shot 11/15 from the floor as a duo. As I stated earlier, this loss sets up a huge game on Sunday. If Boston can figure some little things out on the defensive end, a 3-1 lead would practically put the series on ice. But, if they continue to mess around with the Hawks and allow them to get into a rhythm offensively, then we could be staring at a best of 3 with a mediocre Atlanta team.

I have faith in the guys to figure it out for game 4, but it'll be exciting to see. There is no great title run without some adversity, so let's see if the C's can handle their first test.