Sunday marked the final road game of 2018 for the Atlanta Hawks as they traveled to TD Garden to face the banged up Boston Celtics. The Hawks were able to win their last game against the Wizards due to some low effort play from Washington and entered Boston looking for two straight.
The injuries for the Hawks include a laundry list of players, starting with Kent Bazemore, who has now been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Also out for the Hawks was Schröder, who turned his left ankle a couple of weeks ago and was ruled out for the season. Malcolm Delaney and Jaylen Morris were also out with ankle sprains and the remainders of both guys’ seasons are doubtful with one game to go.
The game started out to the pace of a crawl as both teams struggled to get going early on. Boston was able to finally get going due to the young trio of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and point-guard extraordinaire Terry Rozier who did most all of the scoring for the home team. It was rough for Atlanta who got some good play out of Taurean Prince to keep them in the game as he continues his torrid shooting from beyond the arc in 2018. It was all Boston after the first quarter as the Hawks defense was quite frankly swiss cheese against the athleticism of the Celtics who led 31-24 going into the second.
The three point line was kind to the Hawks in the second quarter as Mike Muscala and Damion Lee were able to sink a couple in the early going. The Celtics countered with some strong play from former Hawks draft pick Shane Larkin and Jabari Bird who were able to score enough to keep Boston in the lead midway through the quarter. Old friend Al Horford began to heat up from the field late in the quarter as Taurean Prince continued to try his best to shoot the Hawks into the game but Boston continued to sport a healthy 58-49 lead at the break.
Dewayne Dedmon was finally able to get on the board in the third quarter as he sprang a three point shot after being absent in the scoring column for most of the first half. Jayson Tatum continued his spectacular play in the third quarter by showing off his two way prowess by scoring at will on the Hawks and forcing a turnovers on the other end. Boston’s perimeter defense began to slip in the third quarter as Taurean Prince and Tyler Dorsey were able to continue the Hawks hot streak from behind the three point line and Atlanta was able to cut into Boston’s lead slightly as the Celtics led 82-76 going into the fourth.
The Hawks wings were absolutely on fire in the fourth as Tyler Dorsey, Damion Lee, and Taurean Prince continued to score down the stretch. Boston’s backups played for the most part in the fourth as they continue to gear up for a Playoff run without Kyrie Irving and it showed in their offense which could not get much going. The Hawks were able to get things tied up late at 101 and the last two minutes were a roller coaster.
After a Greg Monroe slam the Hawks came right back with a layup from Isaiah Taylor to knot the score. Monroe again was able to get inside and draw a foul and hit one of two from the free throw line to put the C’s up by one. Dewayne Dedmon came up big for the Hawks with a three pointer to put Atlanta ahead by two. Jonathan Gibson was able to tie the score for the Celtics with a jump shot with just over a minute remaining. Dedmon continued to feast down the stretch as he got an easy dunk off a nice dish from Taurean Prince inside and after a missed shot from the Celtics Isaiah Taylor sealed the win with a layup.
The Hawks play their final game on Tuesday at home against the 76ers. Stay tuned.