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The T.D. Banknorth Garden was not full of fair weather fans tonight, nor any sort of bandwagon fans that Hawks guard Mike Bibby thought there might be. No, these fans were true to their team and kept a roar going the whole game as the Celtics improved to 2-0 in the opening series against the Hawks. The C’s crushed the Hawks 96-77 Wednesday night in Boston.
Boston never let up on Atlanta even through all the bad officiating that took place. The Hawks got away with a lot of calls and it seemed the Celtics had to take all the calls against them. However, that did not matter. The Hawks had 14 more foul shots than the Celtics in the fourth quarter alone and still could not gain on the varying 20-point lead throughout most of the game. Even Paul Pierce himself would not let the anything stop him tonight. Pierce left the game early in the first quarter after injury but returned later. Pierce ended his night with 14 points and 4 rebounds.
Five Boston players scored in double figures. Kevin Garnett had another strong night getting 19 points and 10 rebounds for another double-double. Ray Allen added 15 points, Rajon Rondo had a strong night with 12 points, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 6 rebounds. Sam Cassell also added 10 points off the Boston bench tonight.
On Atlanta’s side, Marvin Williams and Josh Smith lead the way with 13 points each. Despite all the boos he received, Mike Bibby still finished 12 points. Joe Johnson added 11 points and Acie Law had 12 points off the bench.
The Celtics just do not look like they can be stopped right now. Even when they lead by over 20 points, their defense pressures the other team till they can do no more. The Hawks also look like they just cannot keep up with the Celtics. The series will continue Saturday, April 26 in Atlanta for Game 3. Hopefully Games 3 & 4 will follow the paces of Games 1 & 2, giving the Celtics a nice sweep into the second round.