The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Boston Celtics on Friday evening for Game 3 of their first round postseason series. After taking two losses on the chin in Boston in Game 1 and Game 2, the Hawks were on the ropes on their home floor entering Game 3. The Hawks were able to get off the ropes with a 130-122 win over the Celtics in Game 3.
The Celtics lit up the nets from three-point range in the first half of this one, and just by looking at that most would have thought they were out to another sound lead over Atlanta. That was not the story in the first half of Game 3 however as the Hawks were also red hot, scoring a franchise record 74 points in the first two quarters.
BOGI HAS NOT MISSED— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 22, 2023
5-5 FG and 2 3s pic.twitter.com/jOpcrHcfC2
Atlanta carried a seven-point lead into the break behind a burst from the bench. The Hawks held a lead after 24 minutes despite Boston shooting 15-of-25 from three in the opening half. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Saddiq Bey led the second unit, combining to shoot 10-of-10 from the floor for 27 first-half points.
BOGI DID A FULL SPIN BEFORE A THREE pic.twitter.com/PPlGFE7sj8— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 22, 2023
The Hawks held a 100-93 lead entering the fourth quarter after they played the Celtics to a 26-26 draw in the third. Atlanta led by double-digits late in the period, but Boston hit their 18th three-pointer of the night at the horn to cut the lead to seven going to the final frame.
Okongwu— NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2023
Atlanta leads as Q3 comes to a close on ESPN! pic.twitter.com/59X4ANdLz8
Despite multiple pushes by Boston, the Hawks were able to hold off the Celtics on their way to a victory in Game 3. Boston made just six threes in the second half after 15 before the break, as Atlanta’s defense tightened up considerably after halftime. The Hawks got some clutch shooting from their star backcourt in the final moments to hold off the final push by the Celtics.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 32 points and nine assists in the win, with Dejounte Murray adding 25 points and five assists of his own. Jayson Tatum had 29 points in the loss, while Marcus Smart had 24 points.
The Hawks and Celtics will meet again on Sunday for Game 4.