Recap: Defense plays large as Celtics beat Hawks 106-93

By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully

All in all, the Celtics played a good first half. The shots just weren’t falling. Boston shot 34 percent from the floor in the first two quarters and 27.8 percent from deep, so it wasn’t too surprising to see the score knotted up at 54 with the Atlanta Hawks.

In the third Boston’s defense finally turned into offense and the C’s were able to make their move outscoring Atlanta 35-24. Kelly Olynyk (15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks) opened up the floodgates nailing a three to put the C’s were up by two and after that they were able to score on transition buckets.

The Hawks rallied in the fourth going on a 12-0 run and were able to cut down the Celtics lead to 86-83. Isaiah Thomas came in clutch with two three pointers from each corner to help Boston go on a 8-0 run and put the game away with the final 106-93.

Game Notes

  • After shooting 34 percent in the first half, Boston came alive in the second hitting 67.3 percent of their shots.
  • Amir Johnson (19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists) and Jae Crowder (13 points and 8 rebounds) were each two rebound away from a double-double. That would have given the Celtics four players to record that on the night. Jared Sullinger (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Isaiah Thomas (23 points and 10 assists).
  • In the case of Sullinger, his double-double is his third in as many games.

  • Crowder added four more steals to his league leading 28 on the year. In the past four games, he’s had 18 steals.
  • Amir Johnson had his best game as a member of the Celtics with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

  • Isaiah Thomas was the games leading scorer with 23. He also had 10 assists and 5 rebounds in 34 minutes.

  • Avery Bradley (leg strain) was out again. Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas started in the backcourt.
  • Tyler Zeller saw action for the first time in about two games. He saw playing time as early as the 2nd quarter and logged 6 minutes. He was 2-2 from the floor (5 points) and had 2 rebounds.
  • Celtics are now 4-4 on the season and will hit the road to play a back-to-back against Oklahoma City and Houston starting on Sunday.

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