By Tristan Deschenes, 98.5 The Sport Hub
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with his second straight 30-point game, scoring 32 points and carrying them to their second win against the Hawks in four days. The Celtics have now won six straight games.
Both teams were without major parts of their offense, as the Celtics were without both Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward. The Celtics were also without center Daniel Theis. As for the Hawks, they were without their All-Star point guard Trae Young and newly acquired center Clint Capella.
Boston got off to a hot start, knocking down eight of their nine first shots of the game and jumped out to a quick 24-10 lead midway through the first quarter. The Celtics initial surge of offense soon disappeared, as their offensive production and motivation slowed down drastically in the latter part of the first quarter. The C’s went on a scoring drought of about five minutes and allowed the Hawks to stay in the game. After leading by 14 in the first quarter, Boston took a 28-26 lead into the second quarter.
The Celtics offensive struggles continued and the Hawks took a 35-33 lead with 8:53 to go after Deandre Hunter knocked a three. Boston did respond, when Romeo Langford knocked down a three with 5:38 to go to conclude an eight-nothing Celtics run to put the C’s up 43-35.
Atlanta would finish off the quarter strong. A John Collins layup with 1:52 tied the game at 43, and Brandon Goodwin hit a three with 31.3 seconds left to increase their lead to 55-51. Atlanta held a 55-54 lead going into the second half. Tatum led the Celtics in first half scoring, keeping them in it with 18 points. For the Hawks they were led by John Collins who also had 18.
The green came out playing hard in the third quarter. The C’s outscored the Hawks 33-18 in the third quarter and used 17-4 run to give themselves an 87-73 lead heading into the fourth. Kemba Walker got it started for the Celtics when he knocked down a three with 4:51 to make it 73-66. Rookie Romeo Langford continued the Celtics run after he blocked a shot down on the defensive end, and then drew a foul on the other end. Langford would knock down both free throws to put the Celtics up by nine. Boston’s run would continue when Tatum hit a three with 2:06 to go to put the Celtics up 82-68 and Boston’s lead would reach its highest at 17 after a Langford layup with 27 seconds left made the score 87-70. It looked like Boston had finally pulled away taking a 87-73 lead into the final quarter.
The Hawks would not go away. The Hawks battled back and continued to chip away at the Celtics’ lead. Atlanta even got the lead down to three with one minute left after Goodwin knocked down a three pointer and followed it up with a layup to cut the Boston lead to 108-105. Langford would ultimately seal the deal for the Celtics with two free throws to increase the Boston lead to 112-107.
To go along with Tatum’s 32 points, he also dished out 6 assists. Tatum knocked a career high seven three pointers on the night. Kemba Walker scored 15 points in his return while limited to a 30-minute restriction. Enes Kanter had a big night, scoring 16 points and adding 15 rebounds. Celtics rookie Romeo Langford took advantage of his opportunity, scoring a career high 16 points and recording three blocks in 29 minutes.
The Hawks were led by John Collins who bullied the Celtics inside all-night long, scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Kevin Huerter had another good night against the Celtics, scoring 25 points.
Up Next: Boston will go on the road to face Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon.