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NBA Game Summary - Boston at Atlanta
(Saturday, January 5th)
Final Score: Boston 89, Atlanta 81
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter, as Boston rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks, 89-81, at Philips Arena.
After surrendering 53 points to the Hawks on 52.5 percent shooting in the first half, the Celtics allowed just 28 points the rest of the game in overcoming a 15-point halftime deficit. They held a 33-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter.
"We wanted to bring the fight to the Hawks in the second half," said Pierce. "We were kind of bickering with each other at halftime about what to do defensively and I just reminded our guys that the fight isn't against us, its against the other team. Once we remembered that, we stepped up and played the kind of basketball that we're capable of playing."
Rajon Rondo produced a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in helping the Celtics to their second straight win on the heels of a four-game skid.
Lou Williams scored a game-high 28 points, but had just seven over the final two periods during the Hawks' collapse.
"We put together a good first half, as I told our guys at halftime, this Celtics team has no quit in them," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "These are veteran guys that have been in this situation before of being down double- digits."
Jeff Teague followed with 17 points and Josh Smith tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the Hawks' second straight defeat.
A night after displaying one of its best defensive efforts of the season in a win over Indiana, Boston won with the same formula against Atlanta, but didn't show it early.
Williams shredded the Celtics for 21 points in the first half, with 16 coming in the first quarter. The Hawks dominated through the first two periods in carrying a 53-38 lead into the break, however the second half was a completely different story.
The Celtics came out of the locker room and ripped off a 15-4 run to start the third period -- with Pierce scoring 11 during the surge -- to come within 57-55.
Pierce knocked down 6-of-9 from the field in the quarter and scored the Celtics' last six to give Boston a 71-62 lead heading into the fourth.
Atlanta shot just 25 percent (7-for-28) and committed 13 turnovers in the second half and never regained the lead after falling behind 61-60 in the third. They came within five just past the midway point in the final period, but never got any closer.
Boston has taken three of the past four matchups with the Hawks and six of the last 10 ... The Hawks held a 31-18 lead at the end of the first ... Boston scored 24 points off 21 Atlanta turnovers.
01/05 22:34:33 ET
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