The Celtics took a 2-1 lead tonight as they won against the Atlanta Hawks 90-84 in overtime. With the return of Rajon Rondo from a suspension and the return of Ray Allen from injury the Celtics battled it out and withstood every run the Hawks could throw at them. The Hawks would surge late in the fourth quarter to send it into overtime but in the end the Celtics would prevail.
The return of Rondo and Allen gave a boost to Celtics as Rondo did what he does best in the playoffs, and got a triple double with 17 pts 12 assists and 14 rebs, while Allen added in 13 pts and 6 rebs in his first game back from the ankle injury that sidelined him towards the end of the season. Kevin Garnett set the tone with his defense grabbing 13 rebs and 4 blocks and adding in 20 pts of his own. The game started off with both defenses ramping it up as the first quarter had a 19-17 Hawks lead. The second quarter had the Celtics take the lead at 28-27 on a 6-0 run but turnovers once again let the Hawks creep back into the game. Playing with out Josh Smith we actually had a Tracy Mcgrady sighting as he played a season high for him 41 mins with 12 pts and 9 rebs. Using the trio of Mcgrady, Teague and Johnson the Hawks held in there throughout most of the game but in the end poor shooting would once again cost them.
Paul Pierce coming off the terriffic game he had on tuesday night struggled to find is shot but still remained aggressive as he got to the line and went 14-14 on 3-12 shooting to give him 21 pts for the game. The Celtics set the defensive tone throughout the rest of the game to lead by as much as 11 points in the 4th quarter but the Hawks used a 15-4 run to tie the game at 80. Pierce would miss the potential game winning shot and so we were headed to overtime where it was all Celtics. In overtime the Celtics took a 86-82 before the Hawks his a basket to make it 86-84 but KG would provide the dagger with a put back dunk off a Rondo miss to put the Celtics up 4 with 28 seconds left they would go on to win 90-84. With a 2-1 series lead and all their players back the Celtics clearly have the momentum going into Sundays game 4 match up. They are clicking at the right time offensively and especially defensively and look to not only protect home court but take a commanding 3-1 lead. As Doc Rivers always say “As long as we play Celtics basketball and nobody else’s we can beat any team out there”.