Monday, November 27, 2023

Celtics 113, Hawks 103: Jayson Tatum gives short-handed C's a boost to remain undefeated at home

The Celtics never trailed once, as they held on to top the Atlanta Hawks 113-103 at TD Garden Sunday night.

Jayson Tatum was the game's highest scorer with 34 points on 11-of-25 shooting, including 5-of-13 from deep to go along with nine rebounds, while Jaylen Brown recorded 21 points and seven rebounds to lead Boston to a bounce back win following their In-Season Tournament loss in Orlando two days ago.

Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday were both sidelined for the C's, who are now a league's best of 13-4 on the season. Holiday missed his second straight game with a right ankle sprain, while Porzingis has a left calf strain -- which he suffered against the Magic.
"We've been playing eight for the majority of the season," Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said. "You have to to find moments to give guys opportunities, see what we can develop and give guys chances. That was a perfect opportunity when you have guys out."
Mazzulla elected to start Dalano Banton in the backcourt, as he notched eight points, five rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

Derrick White notched a double-double of 15 points, 11 assists -- filling in nicely for Holiday -- Al Horford made his fifth start, hauling down 15 rebounds, scoring six points and blocking two shots. Sam Hauser also had 12 points off the bench and was 4-of-9 from 3-point territory.

Trae Young did his best to keep the Hawks (8-8) afloat by netting 33 points and dishing out seven assists. De'Andre Hunter had 24 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic chipped in 23 points to lead the second unit.

Boston jumped out to a 12-4 spurt in the opening quarter and never looked back, as Brown scored all of his 21 points in the first half -- giving the home team a 69-53 advantage at the break.

The deficit was as many as 20 for the Hawks with just under eight minutes remaining in the third period, before a 13-0 run cut the C's lead to single digits (90-82) heading into the final frame on a Young driving layup.

That would be the closest Atlanta would get, as Tatum put the game out of reach with a 15-footer with 4:35 left to play in a wire-to-wire victory for Boston.

The Celtics will look to stay alive in Group C of the NBA In-Season Tournament when they host the Chicago Bulls (5-13) Tuesday night at TD Garden -- where they are a perfect 7-0. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm ET

Game Notes:

Boston hit 44.2% from the field, including 13-of-47 (27.7%) from long range, while the Hawks were 40.9% from the floor and 19-of-53 (35.8%) from 3. Celtics won the battle of the glass 58-43 and the points in the paint 46-34. The C's handed out 24 assists (13 turnovers) on 42 baskets and Atlanta had 15 dimes (16 turnovers) on 36 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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