After a Game 1 to forget for the Atlanta Hawks, they looked to bounce back in Game 2 and shock the Boston Celtics. The starting lineup was unchanged from Game 1, and Trae Young and company looked to come out with a different fire than the previous game. A win here could steal homecourt advantage for the good guys, but it would take a monumental effort to accomplish that with all the momentum against them.
From the jump, the Hawks had an entirely different energy as compared to the game on Saturday. Hawks were jumping in passing lanes and causing havoc, and that was leading to scores on the opposite end.
Defense to Offense ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/ZlN8mK1wbo— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 18, 2023
At the first timeout, Atlanta led 17-9. De’Andre Hunter in particular feasted early and often, quickly getting into double digits in scoring.
10 in the first frame for Dre ♨️ pic.twitter.com/XqS9NZHI7y— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 18, 2023
After a hot start that saw the Hawks take a 22-11 lead, the tide started to turn. Atlanta began to turn the ball over and allow the Celtics to go on a run, including a buzzer beater to end the first quarter to make the score 28-25 after 12 minutes.
The second quarter wasn’t much different, with Boston continuing to pad their lead. Atlanta couldn’t compete with Boston’s swarming defense, and they ended up coughing up the ball nine times in the first half alone.
After one half, the Hawks trailed 61-49 and needed a big effort to regain footing in this one.
But a big effort they would not get. Boston continued to harass the Hawks on defense and find easy transition buckets.
Dejounte Murray took over late in the third quarter and kept the Hawks in the mix with his jump shooting and attack off the dribble.
GO DJ pic.twitter.com/bufWhinw77— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 19, 2023
After three quarters, Murray had 24 points and helped bring the Hawks to within nine points. But Atlanta wouldn’t be able to cut into the deficit further, as the Celtics shot the lights out from deep on one end and locked down the Hawks offense down the stretch on the other. The home team would go on to win fairly comfortably, 119-106.
Boston finished strong, as they won a 13-point contest for the second night in a row behind their long-range shooting. They went 15-for-33 (46%) from deep as part of a 48-for-86 (56%) night from the field behind little resistance from the Atlanta Hawks defense.
Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 29 points, six assists, and six rebounds, and Bogdan Bodganovic added 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting off the bench, but their efforts wouldn’t be enough to spring the upset.