Atlanta built an early lead in the first half only to see the Celtics come roaring back in the second. Boston's defense suffocated the Hawks offense down the stretch but Atlanta came up with some key defensive stops of their own late. If this game serves as a playoff preview then Atlanta is going to have to figure out how to execute offensively when the Celtics clamp down late in ball games.
Jeff Teague led the way for the Hawks with 21 points and six assists but was also charged with five turnovers. After taking care of the basketball reasonably well in the first half, the Hawks coughed it up in the second which led to numerous opportunities for Boston. Josh Smith added 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists but had six turnovers of his own. Joe Johnson finished with 14 points and was the focal point of Boston's defense at crunchtime.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Bass added 21 points and 10 boards while Rajon Rondo knotched a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists. Paul Pierce added 14 for the Celtics but was just 4-19 from the field.