Shockingly, the Celtics found themselves in an uncomfortable spot by way of their 103-78 lead over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday afternoon. That’s because these twenty-something point leads have been dangerous business for the Green, and this game was no different, as Trae Young and the Hawks then went on a 34-9 run that left this game tied at 112-112.
But it was at that score that Marcus Smart and the Celtics turned their defensive game on, as they straight-up hounded the Hawks on every possession, and scored 17 of the game’s next 25 points to grab a 129-120 win at TD Garden.
In what was perhaps his most complete game of the season, Smart contributed 16 points, nine assists, and had a season-high five steals in 34 minutes.
But the Celtics truly broke this game back their way with a possession that included tremendous movement, and was capped by a key make, courtesy of Jaylen Brown in the corner.
Brown’s day ended with 23 points off the Boston bench, giving the third-year pro at least 22 points in three straight games.
The game was a true battle of point guards at TD Garden, too, as Young led all Atlanta shooters with 26 points on a 10-for-17 night from the field, while Kyrie Irving scored 30 points behind a 12-for-24 effort with 11 rebounds and nine helpers.
Celtics wing Gordon Hayward left the game with a strained neck.
With the win, the Celtics improved to 2-0 on this Boston home stand, and have wins in six of their last 10 games overall.
The Celtics will welcome the Denver Nuggets to town on Monday night.