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The Celtics led 48-21 midway through the second quarter and by 19 points at the half, but allowed the Atlanta Hawks to open the second half on a 19-0 run before collapsing in double-overtime and surrendering the game, 123-111.
After two Kevin Garnett made free throws, the Celtics still held an eight point advantage with three minutes to play in regulation. The hot shooting of Kyle Korver would prove to be far too much for this fickle group of Celtics to overcome. All of Korver’s eight made field goal attempts were three pointers, a Hawks record, and he finished with a game-high 27 points.
Rajon Rondo recorded his second straight triple-double with 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, and Garnett finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry combined to score 45 points off the Celtics bench while converting on all 14 of their free throw attempts.
Paul Pierce continued his shooting struggles and scored just 12 points on 13 shots, and missed all five of his three point attempts. The Celtics captain also coughed the ball up five times and fumbled the game winning attempt at the end of the first overtime. Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger gave the Celtics nothing from the power forward position as the pair did not score a single point, and grabbed just seven rebounds in a combined 33 minutes of action.
The finger pointing is likely to heat up, as well as the trade rumors, as the Celtics are now in the midst of their worst losing streak since April of 2007. The 27 point lead was the biggest lead the Celtics have blown since 2003. If we haven’t seen the low-point of this season for the Celtics, I’m afraid to see what the low-point is.
The Celtics “welcome” Ray Allen and the Heat to Boston tomorrow in an increasingly uphill battle for their pride.