Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Hawks 114, Celtics 98

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Celtics were never going to win Monday’s matchup with Atlanta. Not with their ice-cold offense.

Every team in the league – even the best of the best – lay about five eggs per season. Tonight was one of them for Boston, which shot a woeful 39.1 percent from the field overall… and that number isn’t even indicative of how bad it really was.

Somehow the Celtics stayed within striking distance until midway through the third quarter. Then their luck ran out, as Atlanta scored consistently while Boston continued to fail to do so.

Atlanta led 62-60 after Amir Johnson made a free throw with 7:07 left in the third quarter. Boston managed to score only 11 more points the rest of the quarter. Atlanta, meanwhile, added 22 to pull ahead 84-71.

The C’s could never recover from that point on. Atlanta eventually pulled ahead by as many as 24 points during the fourth quarter before holding on for a 114-98 victory.

Key Player

On a night during which few Celtics played at a high level, our Key Player must go to a member of the visiting Hawks. Tonight, that player is Paul Millsap.

Millsap was fantastic as always Monday night as he poured in 17 points and also hauled in 10 rebounds on the night to complete a double-double that also featured four assists and two steals.

The most telling stat of all? That would be Millsap’s plus-21 in the plus/minus category. The Hawks were unmistakably better during Millsap’s 32 minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • All five Hawks starters scored in double-figures, while only one Celtics starter (Isaiah Thomas - 19 points) did so.
  • Boston committed 18 turnovers in the game, which led to 25 points for Atlanta.
  • Two Hawks (Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap) notched double-doubles with 17 points and at least 10 rebounds.
  • No member of the Celtics grabbed more than seven rebounds.
  • Thomas led the Celtics in points (19), rebounds (seven) and assists (seven).
  • Thomas also committed seven turnovers.
  • Dennis Schroder scored a game-high 21 points and also led the Hawks in assists with five.
  • Atlanta pounded the Celtics in the paint, outscoring the C's 60-38.
  • Marcus Smart (16 points) and Jaylen Brown (15 points) put forth strong efforts off the bench for Boston.
  • Six Celtics blocked at least one shot, led by two from Amir Johnson.
  • Atlanta scored at least 30 points during each of the final two quarters.
  • Fourteen of the fifteen Celtics who appeared in the game scored and logged at least two points.

Quote of the Night

If there’s one thing I’d like us to get back to it’s taking care of the ball the way we were before the break.

Brad Stevens on Boston's 18 turnovers.

Key Player

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