The Atlanta Hawks (12-16) beat the Boston Celtics (14-14) Wednesday evening, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process. The two teams will battle again from TD Garden Friday evening, the Hawks look to start a different kind of streak.
Trae Young exploded for 40 points and eight assists in the win Wednesday, dismantling the single coverage deployed by Boston. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown tried to carry the load for the Celtics, combining for 57 points and 13 assists, but the secondary options were unable to provide enough help.
Prior to the win, the Hawks had suffered seven straight defeats at the hands of the Celtics, and 10 of their last 11. Atlanta now sits as the tenth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but is only one game behind the New York Knicks, who hold the sixth seed. Boston sits as the fifth seed, just two games ahead of the Hawks.
Atlanta is now ranked 15th in the NBA in net rating (-0.1), while Boston is 12th (+1.1). The Hawks will continue to make an attempt to claw back towards the .500 mark after a handful of gut-wrenching losses so far this season.
Notably for Boston, Kemba Walker and Daniel Theis, who missed Wednesday’s contest, are off the injury report and expected to play Friday evening. Jaylen Brown, the Celtics’ leading scorer, is listed as questionable with left knee soreness. Needless to say, his absence would be quite significant. Marcus Smart and Romeo Langford remain out for Boston.
Getting two starters back will be massive for Boston, but the potential absence of Brown would obviously put a damper on the boost they would receive from their return.
Atlanta will again be without De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn. Nate McMillan will again man the head coaching post for the Hawks, as Lloyd Pierce is back in Atlanta following the birth of his second child.
Game Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 19, 7:30 pm ET
Location: TD Garden
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go