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Rajon Rondo had his 7th career triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Boston Celtics past the Atlanta Hawks in overtime, 90-84, Friday night at the Garden. The victory gave the Celtics a crucial 2-1 series lead over the Hawks in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Paul Pierce back-rimmed the potential game-winner at the end of regulation and finished with 21 points, while Kevin Garnett scored 20 and grabbed 13 rebounds. Both Garnett and Pierce played over 40 minutes.
Fresh off missing 11 games, Ray Allen returned for the Celtics and played a whopping 38 minutes while chipping in 13 points off the bench.
Rondo’s performance was both brilliant and perplexing, as he finished with six turnovers and shot just 7-for-22 from the field to accompany his triple-double. Rondo made the first two buckets in overtime but proceeded to miss his next two layups. Luckily for Rondo and the Celtics, Garnett was there to put back Rondo’s second miss and all but seal the game.
On the whole, this was an ugly game for both sides. The Celtics and Hawks combined for 30 turnovers, neither team topped 41 percent shooting.
Josh Smith missed the game for the Hawks with a sprained knee, and his status for Game 4 is questionable. Avery Bradley’s left the game in the fourth quarter with a dislocated shoulder. Bradley’s availability moving forward is undetermined.
Game 4 takes place Sunday in Boston, as the Celtics look to put the Hawks on the ropes heading back to Atlanta