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Hawks threaten, fall short in 123-115 loss to Celtics

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Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Boston Celtics Monday night, with both teams battling the grind of the NBA season. Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Bruno Fernando, Jabari Parker and Alex Len were all unavailable due to injury for the Hawks. Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Robert iams were out for Boston.

With Evan Turner (dressed and active for this game for the first time since Dec. 28) and Chandler Parsons still taking up roster spots, Lloyd Pierce was left with nine healthy bodies to deploy.

Trae Young, Jeff Teague, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Damian Jones filled out the starting lineup.

Boston got out to a 5-0 lead out of the gate, only for the Hawks to answer with a 12-2 run to take a 15-10 lead.

Surprising to no one at all, Young was hot early with 11 points in the first 4:44.

The Hawks led 34-28 heading to the second quarter following a 17-point first from Young.

Boston reclaimed the lead with a 9-0 in the middle of the second quarter behind a balanced offensive attack. The scoring evened out from there as the teams exchanged leads as the quarter wound down. The Hawks ultimately lead 62-60 at the break after a ridiculous running buzzer beater from Collins. Young led the way for Atlanta with 23 first-half points.

Boston took control early in the third with a 14-4 run to open the second half. The Celtics took a 79-70 lead into a Hawks timeout with 7:26 left in the third. The guests lead reached double-digits soon after as they led 86-74 after a three from Gordon Hayward under the six-minute mark in the period.

Atlanta was unable close the gap down the stretch in the third, with lackluster defense throughout the period leading to much of the deficit. The Celtics carried a 95-84 lead into the fourth.

The Hawks pulled within eight with 7:59 remaining after another fast-break dunk from Teague.

Teague pulled the Hawks within four with a layup with 6:25 remaining. From there, Huerter converted a jumper moments later to cut the margin to just two. Hayward responded with back-to-back baskets for Boston to push it back to six before Huerter hit a three, making it 107-104 Boston with 4:25 to play. Tatum and Huerter then exchanged threes making it 110-107 Celtics with 3:23 to go in regulation.

Grant Williams converted a three-point play putting the Celtics up six with 3:19 to go out of a Boston timeout. Jaylen Brown pushed the margin to eight with a score on the ensuing Celtics possession. Atlanta battled back, trailing 113-117 with 1:13 to go and the ball.

Young turned it over out of a replay timeout and the Hawks ultimately never recovered, losing 123-115.

Young led Atlanta with 34 points and seven assists (nine turnovers) in the loss, with Huerter adding 23 points on 5-of-11 from three-point range. Collins had 22 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

Tatum (28), Hayward (24) and Brown (21) paced Boston in terms of scoring, with iams adding 14 points and six rebounds off of the bench.

The Hawks be back in action Wednesday night from Minnesota for a matchup with the Timberwolves.