Terry Rozier III and rookie Jayson Tatum’s career night propels the Boston Celtics to a 119-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden.
Earlier in the day, we learned that Kyrie Irving (right quad contusion), Shane Larkin (right knee soreness), Marcus Morris (bruised left hip) and Marcus Smart (right hand laceration) would all be out of the lineup.
Before the game head coach Brad Stevens said, “Kyrie feels a little bit better but is still day-to-day, and Marcus Morris is feeling better than the team anticipated,” according to the Celtics.
Also Brad Stevens says that, “Marcus Smart is still about 10 days to two weeks away from returning from his hand lacerations.”
With Irving out again, Terry Rozier III got the start after messing around and getting his first career triple-double in his first career start Wednesday night against the New York Knicks.
About halfway through the first, Brad Stevens got called on one of the most bogus technical fouls I’ve ever seen. There was a foul called on Aron Baynes and you could see Brad Stevens saying “that’s bull****” on his way down the bench to grab a seat in frustration. Apparently the referee didn’t like it too much, even though it clearly wasn’t directed at him.
The Hawks rode a 22-to-7 run through the middle of the first, helping to propel them to 32-26 lead at the end of the first.
It might be hard to believe, but the C’s attempted only two three-pointers (0-2) in the first quarter, yet they shot 52 percent from the field.
By the end of the first half, the C’s pulled within two of the Hawks at 55-53, behind Rozier’s 14 points (6-8 FG), which is his highest scoring total of his career in a single half.
The Celtics finally tied things up at 60-60 with 9:25 to play in the third, before going on a 34-to-15 run to end the quarter with a 94-75 lead.
Just alone in the third, the Celtics out-scored the Hawks 41-to-20 on 65 percent shooting. And the C’s knocked down all five three-pointers they attempted and they did it all without committing a turnover.
During the fourth quarter, the Hawks chipped away at their 19-point deficit, out-scoring the Celtics by 10, but it was a little too late to turn things around.
Jaylen Brown had 19 points (7-14 FG/3-5 3PT) before fouling out with 2:02 left to play in the game.
With tonight’s 119-110 win, the Celtics have now won three in a row, and will now look to continue the streak Sunday after against the Portland Trailer Blazers.
Celtics Post Game Show: Terry Rozier Doubles Down and Greg Monroe in Green
Rozier III led all Celtics scorers with a career-high 31 points (11-18 FG/6-8 3PT) and seven rebounds to go with two assists and two steals. And for the Hawks, Taurean Prince led the way with 31 points (9-17/5-9 3PT) and eight rebounds.
Terry Rozier III is the 2nd Celtics player to reach the 30-point mark this season (Irving, 15x)— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) February 3, 2018
Tatum also had himself a career-high 27 points (11-19 FG/ 0-1 3PT), while filling the stat sheet with four rebounds, three assists, four steals and zero turnovers.
The rookie spins baseline for the jam! pic.twitter.com/VkgkR9UoEJ— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 3, 2018
And then there’s Al Horford, who went off for 17 points (7-13 FG), six rebounds and seven assists.
All five Celtics starters scored in double-digits, while the bench combined for a total of 14 points. As a team, the C’s shot the ball real well, shooting 50.6 percent from the field, 46 percent from three and 90 percent from the line (18-of-20).
UP NEXT: The Celtics (38-15) welcome the Portland Trail Blazers (29-22) to the TD Garden on Sunday for a matinee matchup prior to Super Bowl LII. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 11:30 a.m., with tip-off set for 12:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com