Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hawks 109 - Celtics 105: Korver, Hawks outscore C's in the second half

Photo: John Bazemore (AP)
After losing four straight, the Celtics came out the gates scoring all over the Atlanta Hawks in the first half, but then the fourth quarter reared its ugly head. Again.

Led by Jeff Green's 14 points and Rajon Rondo's seven assists, the Celtics scored 42 points in the first quarter and continued to push the pace throughout the first half, outscoring the Hawks, 66-50. And then the Hawks responded, and their 59 second half points was enough to knock off the C's, 109-105.

Atlanta's 20-5 run in the third quarter changed the complexion of the game. Kyle Korver scored 10 points throughout the game changing run, he played the difference maker. Celtics led by as many as 23 in the first half.

"I thought clearly they were the aggressor and more physical," coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. "I have a couple of vivid memories where we were not quick enough to the ball. That's probably a symbol of our struggles . That's a part of this recurring theme."
Jeff Green scored a game-high 25 points (10-for-16). Jared Sullinger contributed 22 points, 4-for-7 from three and 9 rebounds. And Rajon Rondo dished out a season-high 19 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds but only scored 2 points.

Photo: John Bazemore (AP)
Korver exposed Boston's lack of perimeter defense by draining six of his seven three pointers while scoring a team-high 24 points. Paul Millsap had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

In the fourth quarter, the Hawks opened up a nine-point lead, their biggest of the night. Turner scored five unanswered points to cut the lead to four, 103-99, before Atlanta's Millsap completed a devastating three-point play.

Following a timeout called by coach Stevens with 51 seconds left, Green completed a three-point play of his own and the Celtics were within two. Atlanta missed their chance to make it a two possession game, and just like that the C's had a chance to tie things up or go ahead.

Green got a good looking jumper near the free throw line that went halfway through the hoop and bounced right back out. Atlanta controlled the loose ball and scored a layup on the other end in the closing seconds.

It was great to see Green make two clutch plays when the Celtics needed it most. Even though the second play, the most important play, wasn't a success, he got a great look and nearly sent the game into overtime.

Celtics need someone like Green to take the big shot at the end of games, especially because he's the team's best scorer. And definitely played like it last night.

The Celtics will play three straight at home, starting tonight against the Detroit Pistons. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM.

Game Notes:

Celtics turned the ball over 21 times last night. The Hawks took advantage and did a good job taking care of the ball by only committing 16 turnovers.

Josue Pavon

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