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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