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Danilo Gallinari’s record night leads Hawks to 127-112 win over Celtics

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a highly disappointing one-point loss in Cleveland on Tuesday, the Atlanta Hawks returned to State Farm Arena for the third matchup against the Boston Celtics in the span of eight days. After splitting the first two meetings, the Hawks exploded in a 127-112 home victory, with Danilo Gallinari putting together a night for the ages.

Though there was some doubt about whether he would play after missing the second half on Tuesday with a concussion evaluation, John Collins wasted no time making an impact. He scored seven quick points and, in tandem with two three-pointers from Tony Snell, Collins helped the Hawks take a small lead in the early going.

The opening minutes were positive in their own right, but things really began to break in Atlanta’s direction with an 11-0 run to take a 26-15 lead. That kind of spurt would be strong under any circumstances but, in this case, Trae Young scored all 11 points by himself, connecting on three triples and a floater to put the Hawks in control.

Young scored 13 straight for Atlanta overall, but Boston did have a counter-punch, cutting the margin back to 30-27 and forcing a Hawks timeout. That was as close as the Celtics could get, however, as Young and Gallinari pushed the Hawks to lofty offensive heights.

After 12 minutes, Young had 17 points and, with Gallinari knocking down two three-pointers in the latter stages of the first quarter, the Hawks took a 40-27 lead. Following the quarter break, Gallinari continued to heat up, converting two more three-pointers and a layup to give the Hawks a 20-point lead. Then, Gallinari banged home another three-pointer to stretch the advantage to 50-27 and, dating back to the first quarter, the Hawks scored 20 consecutive points.

After a bit of a wobble from the Hawks as the Celtics (mildly) threatened, Gallinari continued his onslaught. He buried multiple 30-foot offerings, beginning his night by making his first eight shots including seven (!) three-pointers in a row. When the explosion subsided, Gallinari had 23 points in only 14 minutes.

Atlanta was having fun, very clearly, and that extended to Young digging into his bag of tricks late in the first half to beat the shot clock buzzer in style.

The Hawks led by as many as 27 points before halftime, eventually settling in with a 72-49 lead after 24 minutes of action. Gallinari and Young combined for 49 points, matching Boston’s entire output, and the Hawks shot 61 percent from the floor and 13-of-21 from three-point range in the first half.

Atlanta’s first-half effort didn’t immediately translate to the second half, with the Hawks missing their first five shots and opening 2-of-9 overall. That allowed Boston to cut the margin to 73-56 but, on cue, Tony Snell and John Collins connected on back-to-back three-pointers to erase the damage.

The Hawks never found the same level in the third quarter, but there was one flourish. Kevin Huerter knocked down a three-pointer to push the margin back to 24 and, right away, Gallinari added on his ninth three-pointer of the game to put the Hawks back in front by 27 points.

Atlanta’s margin waned a bit, down to 99-78, at the end of the third quarter, but the home team was certainly in a solid position. That position solidified as the Hawks began the fourth quarter in strong fashion, and Gallinari set a new franchise record with his tenth three-pointer.

Down the stretch, the Hawks didn’t necessarily need to keep the pedal down, and that showed. However, the team did make more history in the final moments, converting their 23rd three-pointer of the night to set a new franchise record.

Overall, this was a night centered on the absurdity of Gallinari’s effort. He finished with 38 points on 13-of-16 shooting, including 10-of-12 from three-point range. That three-point mark will live on in Atlanta’s record book, and it was quite the display.

In support, Young added 33 points and seven assists, and he was brilliant in his own right. Collins put together a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, and the team scored more than 1.3 points per possession for the entirety of the game.

Following the win, the Hawks will now head to Oklahoma City for a Friday night matchup against the Thunder.

Stay tuned.