With 6:27 remaining in merely the second quarter of Sport 1 of the playoffs, Al Horford couldn’t cowl his emotions.
The Celtics had been up 22, and the Hawks earned second and likelihood options. However Horford wouldn’t allow there to be a fourth. The big man corralled a rebound over Atlanta’s Onyeka Okongwu, drew a foul after which continued dribbling down the courtroom. He took two dribbles sooner than taking various skips, clenching his correct fist and letting out various screams sooner than slapping the ball.
It was a unusual present of emotion for Horford, the 36-year-old common, mild-mannered veteran who picks his spots to take motion. Even though it was solely Sport 1 of the first spherical, it was the sturdy opening assertion he and the Celtics had been looking for as they restart their pursuit of a championship that they obtained right here so close to claiming a yr up to now.
Horford’s expressions fired up the TD Backyard crowd, Jayson Tatum raised his arms to get them louder and the Celtics had been on their strategy to delivering a convincing first punch. Jaylen Brown scored 29 elements, Tatum had 25 and Derrick White added 24. Robert Williams had actually one in every of his best video video games of the season, which bodes properly for Boston’s championship outlook. The Celtics dominated the first half and let off the gasoline inside the second nevertheless lastly made easy work of the Hawks with a 112-99 victory.
Sport 2 is Tuesday evening time at TD Backyard.
The Celtics had been prepared for this second for weeks. Tatum, earlier inside the week, admitted there was some boredom as a result of the postseason and one different crack at a championship loomed. It confirmed with actually one in every of their most dominant first-half efforts of the season, which gave them a great deal of cushion for an inevitable coast.
Tatum, Brown and Co. tore apart the Hawks’ inside safety to get one thing they wanted, and defensively, that they had been sharp and barely examined. Trae Younger was restricted to solely 16 elements on 5-for-18 capturing, advisor of a troublesome offensive day for the Hawks, who had just one 3-point make at halftime and accomplished the day 5-for-28 from downtown.
The Celtics led by 30 after scoring 74 first-half elements and it regarded like they’d run away in a blowout nevertheless their execution waned inside the second half. The Hawks trimmed the Celtics’ lead to 12 with 9:33 to go inside the fourth quarter when Joe Mazzulla often called timeout. The C’s responded with a 6-0 run – which included 4 elements from Brown – to revive their commanding profit. Dejounte Murray’s layup made it a 12-point sport with 3:16 remaining, nevertheless Horford answered with a 3-pointer and the C’s did enough down the stretch.