The Boston Celtics have hit a rough patch, but Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks was supposed to be an opportunity to right the ship and handle an over-matched opponent. It didn’t turn out that way at all as the Hawks shut the Celtics down in the fourth quarter while going on a run of their own to secure a win. The loss drops the Celtics a half game back of Miami in the race for the No. 2 playoff spot in the East, and three spots out of the No. 1 spot, currently held by the Chicago Bulls.
Boston looked to be in control at the half after using a strong second quarter to take a 52-44 lead. Boston was still in control heading into the fourth, rven after scoring just 16 points, but limiting the Hawks to 18 points, out of the half. But it all fell apart over the final 12 minutes as the Hawks outscored the Celtics 26-15 to come from behind for an 88-83 win.
Al Horford had 16 points and 15 rebounds, Zaza Pachulia had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Jamal Crawford had 20 points for the Hawks in the win. Paul Pierce had a game-high 25 points for the Celtics in the loss. Rajon Rondo had a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.