Atlanta and Boston met for what would be the final time in the State Farm Arena regardless of the outcome with the series at 3-2 in favor of the visitors. The Hawks welcomed the return of Dejounte Murray from a one game absence due to suspension and looked to extend the series once again. Boston, however, aimed at taking advantage of their second chance at closing out the first round series and advancing to face the Philadelphia 76ers.
Boston was clearly more energized early on, jumping out to an early 12-2 lead. But after the initial punch, Atlanta recovered and got into the paint to manage a comeback, like this nifty spin, make, and foul for John Collins.
JOHN COLLINS SPIN-O-RAMA pic.twitter.com/O0UfUFSgRC— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 28, 2023
Trae Young also went to work, hitting this big three to give the Hawks a one point lead.
Tra3 pic.twitter.com/HBn5t3NlyA— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 28, 2023
After one quarter, the Hawks were in the middle of a shootout down just a point, 35-34. Trae Young had 18 big points on just 10 shots, continuing off a 38-point night in Boston two evenings ago.
In the second quarter, the fast pace continued as play went end to end in a blur. Bogdan Bogdanovic flashed some skills with his handles and score on this play below to break a tie.
️ogi ️uckets off the ️ounce! Whew! pic.twitter.com/zVE9SBL8qa— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 28, 2023
Atlanta largely held the contest close and headed into halftime down just 68-67.
Trae Young lit up State Farm Arena with great shooting from all areas of the court. He erupted for 25 points and four assists in the first half. The Celtics kept pace by shooting 10-for-21 (48%) from deep range. The Jays — Tatum and Brown — combined for 34 first half points to power the visitors.
Coming out of the halftime locker room, the Hawks continued to put up threes. De’Andre Hunter got into the action in a big way.
Make it 3 threes for Dre in the 3rd ♨️♨️♨️ pic.twitter.com/L77HS90Jdh— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 28, 2023
A big 13-point quarter from Hunter helped provide the Hawks a 100-98 advantage going into the final quarter.
Trae Young continued to find his teammates despite his shot not falling in the second half. Here is a lob to Clint Capela that got the State Farm Arena crowd on their feet.
11 and 15 keep connectinggg pic.twitter.com/4eOF8pPRV6— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 28, 2023
After the Clint Capela lob finish with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter put the Hawks up 113-110, the Hawks proceeded to go completely cold. Boston went on a 11-0 run until a Dejounte Murray three with just under two minutes left broke the spell. From there, the Hawks were not able to muster enough stops to save their season, and they ultimately fell to the Celtics 128-120.
Trae Young finished with 30 points and 10 assists, although he went a disappointing 1-for-13 (8%) from the field in the second half. De’Andre Hunter also had a big game with 20 points, and John Collins added 16 points on 6-for-8 (75%) shooting from the field.
Ultimately, the Celtics were just too strong a team, and they wore the Hawks down over the course of six games, who now advance in the playoffs after winning the series 4-2. The loss ends Atlanta’s season, but not before impressing those who gave the Hawks little chance at even competing against a — if not the — top team in the NBA.