A look at what happened in Game 1 of the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The third game seen on day one of the NBA Playoffs saw the Atlanta Hawks battle the Boston Celtics. These are the No. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks came out with a hot start in the first quarter of the game, being up by 8 points midway through the first quarter. They would end up going ahead 30-19, led by Al Horford and Paul Millsap scoring 7 points each. The Celtics were being shut down, as they only shot 26-percent during the quarter as well.
Things would continue to be rough for the Celtics in the second quarter. Multiple players got into early foul trouble while they had a tough time just making shots. They were still shooting just 27-percent midway through the quarter. Atlanta stayed hot and got the deficit up to 15 at one point.
The quarter wouldn’t continue to treat Boston well with Atlanta dominating. The teams went into halftime with the Hawks up 51-34. The Celtics had their lowest shooting half of the season at 21-percent.
The early minutes of the third quarter saw the Celtics go into the penalty. To be exact, it was 1 minute, 55 seconds into it.
However, the Celtics started slowly climbing back. They hit a few big shots, including point guard Isaiah Thomas hitting a three-pointer and slinging a perfect pass to Evan Turner to make this a 9-point game. Another three from Thomas made this a 6-point game. The Hawks would be up 72-65 at the end of the quarter.
The Celtics closed the gap even more in the fourth and made it three points early on. They were being led by Avery Bradley who had 18 points on 16 shots. Marcus Smart then carried the charge to tie the game at 80 after shooting a three. He was having a performance badly needed after having a poor shooting regular season. Jae Crowder then hit a three to go up 83-80, stunning the crowd.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Bradley would go down in pain a short time later. It seemed he may have pulled his right hamstring. He would exit the game.
In the closing minutes, the Hawks fought back but the Celtics were only barely trailing. Head coach Brad Stevens kept drawing up great plays for Boston but questionable shots were being taken by Smart and Evan Turner. This led by Atlanta being intentionally fouled, hitting their free throws, and winning the game 102-101.
1) Al Horford – Horford finished the game with 24 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Hawks.
2) Jeff Teague – Teague ended up with 21 points and 12 assists, being the second player on Atlanta during this game to tally a double-double.
3) Isaiah Thomas – Thomas had 24 points and 7 assists for the Celtics in a losing effort.
Atlanta was the favorite to win by 5 points but did not cover the spread with the final score.
The Celtics and Hawks will face off again on Tuesday, April 19 in Atlanta at 7:00 PM ET.
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