NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Boston
(Friday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Boston 104, Atlanta 92
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and doled out five assists to lead the Celtics past the Hawks, 104-92, as Boston swept the season series from Atlanta.
Boston has won seven straight overall in the series, including the four games this season, and the Hawks are winless in their last five trips to Beantown.
Rajon Rondo added 20 points and six helpers for Boston, which won its fourth straight and eighth in nine tries. Glen Davis chipped in 19 points and Ray Allen 10 in the win.
Kendrick Perkins totaled 12 points, 10 boards and tied a career high with seven blocks for the Celts, who moved to 3 1/2 games behind the Cavs for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland lost to Orlando on Friday.
"Right now we're building on just playing good basketball going into the playoffs," said Pierce. "We started off the game not really rebounding the ball but I thought we defended well the whole night and that's going to be the key."
Flip Murray went 4-of-7 from three-point range en route to 21 points for Atlanta, which lost its second consecutive game and fourth in five tries. Mike Bibby donated 20 points and six helpers while Joe Johnson and Al Horford scored 15 and 14, respectively.
Josh Smith finished with 13 points and 10 boards for the Hawks, who currently sit in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The Hawks led 23-21 after the first quarter but the Celtics grabbed a 52-48 lead at the break.
Davis' hook shot sparked a 10-0 Boston run early in the third period. Allen and Pierce followed with threes and Rondo's dunk with 8:15 left gave Boston a 62-52 lead.
"We didn't shoot the ball well tonight," said Horford. "We were really missing a lot of shots that we normally make, and they were really getting in the paint and getting the shots that they wanted."
Moments later Bibby's three-pointer and Horford's layup cut it to 67-65, but the Celtics distanced themselves and took an 80-71 lead into the final 12 minutes.
Stephon Marbury's layup and Eddie House's jumper opened an 84-72 Boston lead early in the fourth frame.
Boston held on from there.
Atlanta was held to 35.6 percent shooting from the field, while Boston hit at a 53.3 percent clip...The Atlantic Division-champion Celtics moved to 3-0 on a five-game homestand. The Celtics, who are an impressive 32-6 at home this season, will also host New Jersey and Miami on the current residency...The Hawks are 14-24 as the guest this season.
04/03 23:36:57 ET