At one point it appeared as though Game 3 belonged to the Boston Celtics. With the Boston faithful anticipating their Celtics taking a 2-1 series lead, the Atlanta Hawks played the spoiler by battling back with a 15-4 run in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter to force overtime.
The comeback was largely fueled by Joe Johnson who registered 27 points through regulation and scored the final five points to knot the score at 80, apiece. Unfortunately, Johnson lost his touch in overtime and went with it the hawks' chances of stealing the game.
Despite the valiant effort by the Hawks, the Celtics proved to be too much and Game 3 inevitably belonged to them following a 90-84 final after a five-minute overtime. Rajon Rondo played a pivotal role in the Boston win, registering a triple-double (17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists) and scoring five of the Celtics' final ten points.
Surprisingly, Rondo's most important play probably came on a missed lay-up that set up a demonstrative slam-dunk finish by Kevin Garnett that gave Boston a four-point lead with 28.1 seconds remaining. Garnett finished the night with 20 points and 13 rebounds in 42 minutes played. In addition to Rondo and Garnett, Paul Pierce finished the night with 21 points and was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line.
The Hawks will look to bounce back on Sunday night when the team will look to even the series at two.