Hawks fly past Celtics with fourth-quarter surgeApr 2, 2011 - 3:45 AM
Al Horford posted 16 points and 15 rebounds while Joe Johnson scored 19 for Atlanta, which sits comfortably as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and holds a four-game lead over No. 6 Philadelphia.
Zaza Pachulia scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won four straight. Atlanta also avoided a sweep of the three-game season series.
"I'm just happy that we won the game," said Pachulia. "I'm not trying to be humble or anything, I'm just glad we won the game. It was a big game for us. We lost two times to Boston this season so we didn't want to get swept. That was a huge fourth quarter for us, we stayed in our game plan and it worked out."
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with a game-high 25 points with eight rebounds. Rajon Rondo scored 13 with 10 rebounds and Ray Allen added 11 points in the loss, which put the Celtics a half-game behind the Miami Heat for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and three games behind the Bulls for the top spot.
"I thought there was a point in the third quarter where we had the game in hand," said Pierce. "We could have stretched it and we're playing pretty good defense. I thought we were settled and we could have pushed the lead. But they took it to us in the final quarter."
Delonte West and Kevin Garnett both finished with 10 points, and Garnett grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss, Boston's second in three games.
The Celtics held a 68-58 lead with under a minute remaining in the third, and after Horford made a pair from the line and Crawford connected on a driving layup the Hawks' deficit was 68-62 entering the fourth.
Horford's free throws started an 13-1 run that stretched into the opening minutes of the fourth, and a Pachulia layup 2:20 into the quarter gave the Hawks a 71-69 advantage.
Two Rondo baskets then gave the Celtics a short-lived lead, and the Hawks used a final 11-2 run to take control.
Crawford's driving layup started the run, tying the game at 73, and Johnson canned a long three-pointer with 3:17 remaining to give Atlanta a 82-75 edge.
Allen connected on the Celtics' only three-pointer of the fourth quarter with 2:39 remaining to make it a one-possession game. After both teams went cold from the line for the next several minutes, Pachulia made a pair from the line with 36 seconds remaining to give Atlanta a 85-81 lead.
After a Celtics timeout, Pierce made a pair from the line with 30.8 ticks remaining and Horford connected on a putback shot off a Johnson miss to account for the final margin.
Allen and Glen Davis both missed three-pointers in the final seconds to end the game.
Atlanta held a 23-21 lead after the back-and-forth first quarter, and the Celtics shot 68 percent from the field in the second to take a 52-44 lead into the break.
Davis finished with nine points and five boards in the loss...The Hawks held a 52-38 rebounding advantage, 34-19 in the second half...Johnson made 10-of-11 from the line
- BOSTON: 83
Apr 1 10:38 PM
- BOSTON: 68
End of 3rd
Apr 1 9:53 PM
- BOSTON: 52
Apr 1 9:10 PM
- BOSTON: 21
End of 1st
Apr 1 8:38 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 1 8:11 PM
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