It took longer than expected, the Boston Celtics punched thjiert tocket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, as they finally dispatched the plucky Atlanta Hawks 128-120.
It was a close affair and Boston would take a 68-67 lead at the half.The game would remain close in the second and was tied at 113 with 4:48 left in the game. The Celtics scored 8 straight to put them up 121-113 with 2:10 left in the game. The Hawks would get as close as five but could not capitlize on opportunities down the stretch, including being unable to inbound the ball, down 126-120 with 19 seconds left in the contest.
Jaylen Brown led the way for Boston with 32 points, on 13/25 from the floor, including 6/8 from downtown, adding 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Jayson Tatum turned in a near triple double with 30 points on an efficient 11/20 FG, grabbing 14 rebounds and handing out 7 assists. Marcus smart added 22 points Malcom Brogdon had a strong performance off the Boston bench with 17 points and 4 assists.
Trae Young finsihed with 30 points but 25 of those points in the first half, as Young converted just 1 of his 13 second half field goal attempts. De’Andre Hunter scored 20; Dejounte Murray scored all of his 14 points in the second half, as he could not throw it in the ocean in the first 24 minutes of the game. Collins put in 16 points but needed more than the 8 shot attempts, as he made 6 of them. Clint Capela had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, while Bogdan Bogdanović scored 12 off the Hawks’ pine.
The Celtics advamce to face the Philadelphia 76ers in a series that tips off May 1 in Boston at 7:30 pm EST.
For the Hawks, they enter into an offseason that could be filled with roster uncertainty for next season, as apparently no one is “untouchable.”