Celtics Close Out Series With Hawks, Advance To Play Sixers In Second Round

The Boston Celtics struggled at time against the Atlanta Hawks, but were able to close out the series on Thursday night. Boston will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.

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38 Total Updates since April 27, 2012
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Kevin Garnett, The Superstar The NBA Forgot

Kevin Garnett reacted to one of his best playoff performances ever by criticizing writers for suggesting he was too old. Is Garnett right about what he said? Semantically, no, but in spirit, he has a point.

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Kevin Garnett Gives A Classic Postgame Press Conference

Kevin Garnett was on fire in the postgame press conference after the Celtics beat the Hawks to move on to the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. First, here he is responding to Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon Jr. saying he is the "dirtiest guy in the league."

Later, he responded to a question about his advancing age.

All that was missing was an ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEEEEE reference.

Update: Now with video of KG getting after it:

Via @Trags

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on theHawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Hawks Vs. Celtics, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 6: Boston Escapes With Series Win, Beats Atlanta 83-80

The Boston Celtics went on a 7-2 run in Game 6's last two minutes to come away with a 83-80 win over the Atlanta Hawks and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Boston won the series 4-2.

The Hawks were the beneficiaries of some weird officiating and bad luck in the game's final seconds. Marquis Daniels fouled Al Horford on an out-of-bounds play -- which should've led to free throws and the ball -- but for some reason, no FT's were shot. Horford ended up wide open again on a sideline out-of-bounds, forcing Daniels to foul him again, but he missed the front end and the Hawks didn't have enough time to get the lead back.

It was unfortunate to see Horford miss as his sharp play on both ends kept the Hawks involved late in the game. Marvin Williams' shooting was also key -- the Atlanta guard drilled four-of-five threes to finish with 16 points.

Kevin Garnett had a throwback game with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen oddly couldn't get his shot to fall, going 1-for-7 from three and even missing a crucial free throw late, but the C's were able to get production from Garnett and Paul Pierce, who had 18.

Important GIF's and videos:

Rajon Rondo dream shakes and hits a buzzer beater

Instant reactions from our team bloggers

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Paul Pierce Injury: Celtics' Star Has Sprained MCL, Will Still Play In Game 6 Vs. Hawks

Paul Pierce has a sprained knee, but it's not going to force him to miss any time. According to multiple reports, shared by CelticsBlog, the Boston Celtics' small forward has a sprained MCL, but is available for Game 6 of the Celtics' series against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics lead, 3-2, and can close out the series at home on Thursday night.

Pierce participated in morning shootaround, and there's no indication that he's going to be seriously limited, either in his performance or in his minutes. The Celtics have said that there is no other injury beyond a sprain for Pierce, so there's no reason for him to sit if he's not in serious pain and feels like he can move his knee well. Pierce was the Celtics' co-leader in scoring in Game 5 with 16 points, and he's currently averaging 21.8 points per game in the playoffs.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Al Horford's Return From Injury Makes Atlanta Hawks Relevant Again In NBA Playoffs

Al Horford started for the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night for the time since early January. The All-Star center made his impact felt immediately, helping the Hawks to stave off elimination for at least one more game in their first round NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 5 Final Score: Atlanta Staves Off Elimination With 87-86 Victory

The Atlanta Hawks' postseason will continue for at least one more game after defeating the Boston Celtics, 87-86, in Game 5 on Tuesday night. The Celtics now hold a 3-2 series advantage as things shift back to Boston on Thursday.

Boston's Paul Pierce nearly played the hero in this series once again when he took a potential go-ahead shot with 15 seconds left in the game. However, he came up five feet short. And Rajon Rondo stole an inbounds pass in the final seconds, only to not even attempt a shot. It was a tough break for a team that was so close to finishing off this series.

Pierce tied for the team lead in points with Kevin Garnett at 16 each while Rondo put in 13 points and 12 assists. Ray Allen led the bench with 15 points. Fourteen turnovers and 13 personal fouls hurt the team, but so did Atlanta hurt itself with 18 turnovers and 19 personal fouls.

Atlanta relied on five scorers in double-digit points, led by Al Horford's 19 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Smith also put in a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds. He also dished the ball out for six assists. Jeff Teague and Marvin Williams contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Will the Hawks be able to pick up a road victory on Thursday?

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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VIDEO: The Crazy Final 10 Seconds Of The Celtics-Hawks Game

In a game full of bad offense, bad shooting and mistakes, the Atlanta Hawks held on to defeat the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series only after a crazy sequence to end things. Up one point and with the ball with just over 10 seconds left, the Hawks only needed to inbound the ball to feel good about themselves. Instead, Josh Smith's inbounds pass was picked off by Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics had a chance.

With no timeouts, Rondo advanced the ball into the frontcourt. In the end, Rondo dribbled the ball off his foot and the Celtics didn't even get a shot off.


Now, it's easy to get on Rondo for this, and to a certain extent, he deserves it. However, I hope more people realize just how great a play Al Horford made here. When the clock dips under five seconds, coaches tell players to switch every screen, but it's really hard for a big man to do that and slide his feet enough to stay with a speedster like Rondo. Horford not only expertly executed a switch with Josh Smith, but he crowded Rondo enough to prevent him from seeing the pass to Kevin Garnett, then stayed with Rondo as he tried to cross over.

It was an unbelievable play by a guy who came up with an unbelievable game in his second contest since early January.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks, 2012 NBA Playoffs: Boston Dominates 101-79

When one team gets out to a big lead in a playoff game, the announcers will invariably warn the viewers not to get too comfortable because "an NBA team is always going to make a run."

That didn't happen for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their first-round series with the Boston Celtics, as they were dominated 101-79 by Boston in a game that was rarely even competitive, especially in the second half.

The loss puts an injury-ravaged Atlanta team on the brink of elimination, as they've now dropped three straight games to the Celtics after winning Game 1.

Rajon Rondo was the story of the game, as he scored 20 points on 8-11 shooting while handing out 16 assists to only one turnover. He even went 2-3 from beyond the arc, which tells you all you need to know about how well Boston played.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Al Horford Warming Up, 'Game-Time Decision' For Game 4

Though he had previously said he would miss all of the first round, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford is warming up before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first round against the Boston Celtics.

Horford has missed almost the entire 2011-2012 NBA season with a torn pectoral muscle, but the Hawks could use anyone with size at this point. Josh Smith missed the end of Game 2 and all of Game 3 — both Hawks losses — with a knee injury, and Horford's backup, Zaza Pachulia, is out for the series, meaning Jason Collins and Ivan Johnson are the only players on the active roster with any size and game experience.

There's no word yet on whether Horford will play, but he's on the active roster, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, meaning, even if he's not originally intended to get any minutes, he can go in case of emergency. How many minutes he'll get if he goes is up in the air, but it's hard to imagine him playing even close to 30.

The Hawks are down 2-1 to the Celtics, and they tip off in Atlanta at 7 p.m. ET.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Hawks Vs. Celtics, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 3 Final Score: Celtics Survive Scare With OT Victory, 90-84

Oh so that's how NBA basketball is played!

In the first overtime game of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Boston Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks 90-84

After a sloppy and slow first half, the Boston Celtics asserted themselves out of the locker room, taking an 1- point lead into the fourth quarter in the final 24 minutes.

But what looked like it would be a game where the Celtics cruised to an easy victory turned into a nailbiting overtime win for the home team, as the Hawks responded in the final six minutes, going on a 15-4 run to get the game to an extra session.

In overtime, though, the game belonged to the Celtics, as Rajon Rondo, who logged a whopping 49 minutes tonight, took control of the game despite what you see to the right.

With the win, the Celtics take a 2-1 series lead, with the next two games to be played in Boston.

Adding validity to the argument that he plays his best basketball in front of a national television audience, Rondo logged a triple-double -- the seventh of his playoff career -- with 17 points, 12 assists and 14 rebounds.

The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague, who finished with 29 and 23 points, respectively, but got next to no production from reserve Tracy McGrady in the second half. McGrady, who rolled his ankle late in the first half and left the game with 10 points, went 0-5 from the floor in the second half and overtime.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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VIDEO: Kevin Garnett's Post-Game Interview In Full

Well, we don't need much to capture Kevin Garnett's post-game interview after the Celtics' overtime win on Friday night ...

It's not quite #BarFight, but Garnett's "BEAAAAANTOWN!" scream was great. Remember, this was supposed to be an interview. The PA was tossing it to the court for a player-of-the-game presentation.

And let's be honest, Garnett should always have a mic in his face after a game. He never fails to do something fun.

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Josh Smith Injury Update: Hawks' Forward Will Not Play In Game 3

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith tried hard, but it appears he will not be healthy enough in time to play in Game 3 of the team's first-round 2012 NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics on Friday. Smith suffered a strained patella ligament in the Hawks' Game 2 loss on Tuesday and will not be in the lineup, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Atlanta's Josh Smith will not play in Game 3 against Boston tonight, league source tells Y! "Knee is just too sore," source says. Will try for Game 4 on Sunday.
Smith is probably the Hawks' best player, so this is a big loss as they try to rebound from a stunning loss in Game 2. He suffered the injury early in the fourth quarter guarding Boston's Kevin Garnett. Smith tried to play through the pain, but exited for good with four and a half minutes remaining.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Paul Pierce, Wisdom And The Mastery Of The Moment

How could Paul Pierce put the short-handed Celtics on his back when they needed him most? Because few others have been there before as often as he has.

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Josh Smith Injury Update: Hawks' Forward Has Sprained Patella Ligament, According To Report

The news keeps getting worse for the Atlanta Hawks following their 87-80 loss to an undermanned Boston Celtics team in Game 2 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series. Star forward Josh Smith suffered a sprained patella ligament in his left knee in the fourth quarter of the loss, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Smith will have an MRI to check the severity of the injury on Wednesday, but an MRI can often confirm what is already known. The injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter when Smith was trying to guard Kevin Garnett. He tried to play through the pain, but departed for good with four and a half minutes left.

It remains unclear whether Smith will miss any time in the series, but if he cannot play, it's a huge loss for the Hawks. Smith put together another fine season this year, keeping the Hawks afloat after Al Horford suffered a season-ending injury early in the year.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Celtics Vs. Hawks, NBA Playoffs 2012: Paul Pierce Leads Boston To Upset Win

Few gave the Boston Celtics much of a chance to beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series. With point guard Rajon Rondo suspended for bumping an official and Ray Allen sitting out again due to an ankle injury, the Celtics were very undermanned.

But that was before Paul Pierce put the Celtics on his back and put together a vintage performance. Pierce scored 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Celtics' defense locked down the Hawks late in an 87-80 win that tied up the series at one.

Pierce scored the first nine points of the game, then poured in 13 in the final quarter to surge his team in front. The Celtics' defense did the rest, holding Atlanta to just 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Not only did Atlanta lose the game, but they may have lost Josh Smith, who left the game late in the fourth quarter after injuring his knee sparring with Kevin Garnett. His status going forward remains unclear.

Noteworthy GIFs and videos:

Jeff Teague is pretty athletic.

Paul Pierce has a very hard chest.

Pierce also reminds us that Tebowing is still a thing.

Instant reactions from our bloggers:

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Rajon Rondo Suspended 1 Game For Bumping Referee

The verdict is in. Rajon Rondo has received a one-game suspension for bumping referee Mark Davis in the final minute of the Boston Celtics' 83-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.

Update: The NBA officially announced the suspension.

The suspension isn't a surprise. Earlier on Monday, NBA commissioner David Stern said that he believed Rondo intentionally bumped Davis, and bumping an official is an automatic suspension. Rondo's story was that he was tripped and fell into Davis, but it appears that he put his chest out intentionally as he came towards Davis. Rondo also has a history of being abrasive towards officials, having been suspended two games for throwing the ball at a referee earlier in the season.

Rondo's suspension mean the Celtics will likely have to start youngster Avery Bradley at point guard in Game 2 on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if Ray Allen, who missed Game 1 with an ankle injury, will return to the lineup and play shooting guard alongside Bradley.

For news and analysis on these two teams, be sure to visit CelticsBlog, SB Nation Boston, Hawks blog Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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