The Atlanta Hawks look to take a commanding lead over the Boston Celtics on Friday when the two teams meet again in Game 3. Atlanta took both games at home thanks to a smothering defensive effort and hopes to continue that trend on the road.
Slow starts have plagued the Celtics in both games of the series. Atlanta built a 17 point lead first half lead in Game 1 and jumped out to a 24-7 lead at the end of the first quarter in Game 2. The Hawks will be looking to deal a knockout blow early to help take what will surely be a raucous TD Garden crowd out of the game.
Al Horford has done most of the heavy lifting offensively for Atlanta in the series averaging 20.5 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Horford has made 4 of 6 three point attempts in the series and has made things tough for Boston's big men.
Jeff Teague has also played well averaging 18 points and nine assists over the first two games. The Hawks hope to get Paul Millsap back on track in Game 3 after he struggled throughout of the first two games of the series. Millsap is shooting just 30 percent from the field in the two games but has been a major factor on the defensive end of the floor.
Boston has shot just 34 percent from the field in the series. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 21.5 points per game but is converting at just a 33 percent rate.
Both teams come into Game 3 with injury concerns. Avery Bradley will miss at least the next two games with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Game 1. Kelly Olynyk sat out Game 2 with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable for Game 3.
For the Hawks, Dennis Schröder suffered an ankle injury in the final minutes of Game 2. Schröder sat out practice on Thursday and is listed as questionable but the team remains hopeful that he will be able to play in Game 3.
The Hawks should expect a desperate Celtics team to pull out all of the stops in Game 3. Atlanta has an opportunity to essentially slam the door shut on Boston which is something they have historically struggled with.
Hawks all-time when leading a series 2-0: 3-11 in Game 3 (6 straight losses)— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) April 22, 2016
Celtics all time when trailing a series 2-0: 7-7 in Game 3
Game Date/Time: Friday, April 22, 8 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
TV: ESPN 2, Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM