Hawks Vs. Celtics, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 3: Boston Up 40-38 At Half

When the Celtics won game two of their first-round playoff series against the Hawks Tuesday night, it was star Paul Pierce providing a heroic effort.

Tonight, playing without Josh Smith, and Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia due to injury, the Hawks needed a similar heroic effort from their star Joe Johnson.

It may not be heroic, but the offensive production of Johnson and Tracy McGrady has at least allowed the Hawks to keep pace with the Celtics, who lead 40-38 in a game that is by no means easy on the eyes.

After missing the first two games of the series with bone spurs in his right ankle, Ray Allen has returned with eight points on 4-6 shooting, chuckling to ESPN's Lisa Salters at halftime that his ankle feels fine and saying he's just an old man who's a bit winded.

For the Hawks, McGrady looked like the T-Mac of old in the first half, with 10 points on 5-9 shooting. But with less than a minute remaining in the half, McGrady rolled his ankle and had to be taken to the locker room.

With the Hawks bench already thin, will we see the venerable Jerry Stackhouse playing valuable minutes in the 2012 NBA Playoffs?

Coming into the game, nearly all pundits announced that the Celtics would not only run away with a victory tonight but likely sweep their three home games en route to a series win.

That can still happen, but the Hawks should be lauded for keeping this game choppy and slow. They've forced the Celtics into a half-court game, with many of their key players struggling to score.

To get a win, the Hawks have to keep this game looking ugly and hope the Celtics continue to play with little sense of urgency.

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.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.