NBA Game Summary - Boston at Atlanta
(Friday, January 8th)
Final Score: Atlanta 93, Boston 85
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - All five Hawks starters finished in double figures and Jamal Crawford scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, as Atlanta held off Boston, 93-85, at Philips Arena.
Mike Bibby donated 17 points and seven assists, while Joe Johnson added 12 and eight for the Hawks, whose win over the Nets on Wednesday snapped a four-game slide. Al Horford and Josh Smith each recorded double-doubles, with the former logging 16 points and 10 rebounds and the latter donating 15 and 11 to the winning cause.
Boston, which was again with Kevin Garnett (knee), was led by Paul Pierce's 21 points and six steals. Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins each scored 15 points with Perkins grabbing 14 rebounds as well. Rajon Rondo ended with 11 points and 10 assists in the loss.
"I just thought they were the better team tonight," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of the Hawks. "They played harder...Defensively I was disappointed."
The Celtics, who had won two straight on the heels of a three-game slide, were down 68-53 late in the third before scoring the final seven points of the frame to make it a single-digit affair.
A four-point play by Crawford with 7:13 remaining had Atlanta ahead, 78-67, but the visitors responded with a 9-0 spurt, with Pierce's running layup cutting the deficit to two with 5 1/2 minutes to play.
That was as close as the game got, as Atlanta made four straight shots from the field to pull away. Bibby hit a runner to extend the lead to 87-81 with under three minutes left, and after a bad outlet pass by Pierce two minutes later, Crawford nailed a game-clinching three-pointer.
"I thought we bounced back from a first half that was OK but could have been better," Crawford said. "When we got the lead we didn't relinquish it...We're showing some growth."
Boston trailed 19-17 after 12 minutes, but a late Allen three-pointer followed by a Perkins free throw gave the Celtics a 45-39 lead at the break.
Bibby's three-ball early in the second half was as part of an 11-0 run, capped by a Smith bucket for a 56-49 Atlanta lead near the seven-minute mark.
Garnett missed his fourth straight game with a hyper-extended right knee, while teammate Tony Allen was sidelined because of flu-like symptoms...Atlanta beat Boston, 97-86, on November 13 this season to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series...Atlanta's Marvin Williams and Boston's Rasheed Wallace each scored 11 points.
01/08 23:18:44 ET