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In beating the Atlanta Hawks 102-90, the Celtics originally looked like they might have a tough time of things. Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely (a couple of weeks, probably) with a sprained ankle, and Shaq was still a cautious scratch. Boston only was 8/11 on free throws, to Atlanta’s 19/24. Though Boston began their 12-game winning streak in Atlanta, on November 22, 99-76, the Hawks kept them honest early on at the TD Garden. In fact, no team led by more than three points in the 1st quarter. In fact, the exciting part of the quarter was when Al Horford was called for a technical foul. He racked up a loose ball foul on Kevin Garnett, then the little guy Nate Robinson stuck up for K-Gar. Horford’s jawing got him the T.
The Hawks stretched things out to a seven-point (33-26) lead in the 2nd after Boston’s mini defensive lapse, though Glen Davis alone brought Boston back to within two (36-34), though Davis’ Flagrant 1 call and Robinson’s bad pass pushed the lead back to seven (41-34). The score was 43-38 before a 2:29 stretch without any scoring for either side. In that last 1:27 of the quarter, Boston scored the last six to lead 44-43 at the half.
Boston open up a six-point lead (53-47) in the 3rd (after some back-and-forth and a Mike Bibby technical) before Atlanta tied the game at 53. Boston opened up an eight-point lead (64-56) later on thanks to some good stops before Atlanta started another back-and-forth. Boston opened up a couple of 10-point leads before Atlanta scored the quarter’s last two buckets to cut the Celtics’ lead to 75-69 going into the final 12 minutes.
Atlanta cut the lead to two (77-75) before Boston opened it back up to nine (84-75). Atlanta tried to use free throws to get back into the game, but Boston pushed their lead to 91-80. Ray Allen’s three gave the Celtics as much as a 14-point lead (100-86) before the game settled down to it’s final score.
14 boards and 17 points in 31:54? Three assists and two steals for good measure? Garnett was a huge help, and pretty accurate from the field (8/10).
In 4:29, Bradley did not attempt a shot; he did get a steal, but racked up a foul and a turnover to go with it.