NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Boston
(Friday, January 6th)
Final Score: Atlanta 103, Boston 98
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Al Harrington poured in a game-high 28 points and added eight rebounds to lead Atlanta over Boston, 103-98, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Joe Johnson added 20 points and five assists for the Hawks, who put an end to a four-game skid. Tyronn Lue chipped in 15 points off the bench while Josh Smith also reached double figures with 11 for Atlanta.
"Our locker room is very excited," said Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson. "I think any time you play this team (Boston), they're well-coached. They've got a lot of offensive weapons. For us to come in and play a solid game, and finally finish a game, (is satisfying) because we've been playing pretty well as of late."
Delonte West and Paul Pierce each tallied 23 points for the Celtics, who lost for the second time in their last three games. Al Jefferson chipped in 17 points while Ricky Davis had 11 and eight assists for Boston.
The two teams were deadlocked at 79 apiece heading into fourth.
The Celtics electrified the crowd with back-to-back dunks to take a two-point lead, 87-85, with just over nine minutes remaining. First, Orien Greene flashed down the right wing and finished with a slam. Then, on the ensuing possession, Lue's driving layup was blocked by Raef LaFrentz and Greene quickly hit Davis with a beautiful alley-oop for two more points.
However, the game stayed tight and Harrington's layup tied things up at 98-98 with just 1:57 remaining. After a Pierce miss, Johnson then buried a 17-footer from the top to give Atlanta a two-point edge with 1:12 left.
The Celtics isolated Davis on their next possession, but his jumper rattled in and out. After an awkward Harrington left-handed floater came up empty, Josh Childress pulled down a huge offensive rebound and kicked the ball back outside. Boston was then forced to foul Johnson with 19.2 seconds left and the former Suns star stuck 1-of-2 free throws to give the Hawks a 101-98 lead.
Pierce then got a great look, but hurried a three-pointer and missed badly. Lue corralled the rebound and was immediately fouled. Lue was then sent to the line on the ensuing inbounds pass and the diminutive guard calmly struck both free throws with 12.9 seconds left to seal things for the Hawks.
Atlanta held a slim 27-24 advantage after the opening frame, but the Celtics recovered to take a 50-43 edge into the half. Jefferson paced Boston with 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting, while Harrington had 14 points for the Hawks.
Boston coach Doc Rivers left the game for five minutes in the third quarter with flu-like symptoms but did return...The Celtics sent first-round draft pick Gerald Green to the Fayetteville (N.C.) Patriots of the NBA's developmental league. Green, the 18th overall pick in the June draft out of Houston's Gulf Shores Academy, was sent down to garner more playing time...The Hawks are still a miserable 3-14 away from home this season...Boston is 10-7 at home...Atlanta, the NBA's best three-point shooting team, hit 11-of-19 from long range. Boston was just 6-of-13 from behind the arc.
01/06 23:22:50 ET