Everything You Need To Know About...Hawks vs Celtics | Game 6 | May 2, 2008


Game 6
| Atlanta 103, Boston 100  | May 2, 2008


The Basics
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    | Game Highlights | Post-Game Press Conference | Quotes | Photo Gallery

  • The Hawks fought back from 12 down, showing a tremendous amount of guts in a 103-100 win over the Celtics in front of 20,425 screaming fans at Philips Arena on Friday ... The win forced a seventh and deciding game in the series (Sunday, 1 p.m., ABC, 790 The Zone).
  • Marvin Williams led a balanced scoring attack with 18 points, while Mike Bibby added 17, Al Horford had 16, Joe Johnson and Josh Childress tallied 15 each, and Josh Smith finished with 11.
  • Williams left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left knee, but returned late in the contest.
  • The Hawks fell behind early, trailing 32-20, after one ... But Atlanta rallied behind a 29-18 second quarter to pull within one (50-49) at the half ... Following the pattern of games 3 and 4, Boston surged ahead in the third, pushing the lead back to nine ... But again the Hawks made a move, cutting the deficit to three (82-79) through three ... Early in the fourth, the Hawks too the lead, riding a 10-0 run midway through the fourth to take a 96-89 lead ... Boston eventually cut the lead down to 2, but the Hawks hung on.
  • Atlanta got their best bench contribution of the series, totalling 26 points and 13 rebounds from the reserves, including 15 and 6 boards for Childress, and 9 pts, 6 rebs and an emotional lift from Zaza "Balboa" Pachulia.
  • Tonight's attendance (20,425) was the most ever for a Hawks game at Philips Arena, and 2nd in the arena's history to the 20,596 drawn for a U2 concert on 3/30/01.

Photo Of The Night


Zaza celebrates after the Hawks stun the Celtics, forcing a Game 7

The Last Word With Lang Whitaker: Three Things From Game 6

1) The common thread in the Hawks victories has been Mike Bibby outplaying Rajon Rondo. Tonight Bibby finished with 17 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, to go with no turnovers. For whatever reason, Bibby hasn't been able to capture that magic when he's in Boston. We need to make sure Bibby comes to play for Game Seven.

2) Similarly, it's too early to know the prognosis on Marvin Williams, who went down in the fourth quarter with what was termed a sprained knee, but Marvin finally broke out of his funk tonight, scoring 18 points in 28 minutes of playing time. If Marv can play, hopefully he can recreate that performance. If he can't go, Josh Childress needs to play as big as his afro.

3) The Hawks have to believe they can win in Boston. We've lost the three games in Boston by a combined 67 points, not even making a game close. It's not enough to keep this one close -- every player on the Hawks need to play the game of his life.
 


From The Blog
Something changed in the 4th quarter, just like it did in Game 4. If it happens once, it's a coincidence. If it happens twice, it's a trend. And if I am the Celtics, I am asking myself some tough, tough questions right now. Questions like, why did Paul Pierce lose his cool when he picked up his sixth foul (even though it was on an admittedly terrible questionable call), picking up a technical foul that gave the Hawks a crucial extra point? Why were the rims a little tighter for Ray Allen in the 4th quarter? And why did Kevin Garnett, who should be able to score at will on Atlanta with his size advantage inside, repeatedly pass up open looks in the lane late in the game when every possession was so crucial to both teams?


Momentum Changer
The Hawks battled, and battled, and battled, but just couldn't get closer than 5-6 for most of the first three quarters. But with time winding down in the 3rd and the Hawks trailing by 5, Josh Childress flew to the rim for a tip in that bounced several times around the rim before dropping. The bucket closed the gap to 3, and gave the Hawks that little extra push they needed to take over in the 4th quarter.


What Went Right

  • All heart. That's what this win was. Atlanta won this game with guts, not because of flawless execution or shutdown defense or anything else. They willed themselves to win Game 6, and so they will head back to Boston with a chance to move on.
  • Marvin Williams, you couldn't have picked a better time to have your best game as a Hawk. Sure he's had bigger scoring nights, bigger rebound totals, etc, but tonight the Celtics gambled that he wouldn't beat them, and he did. He hurt his knee late, but was back on the court at the end, so hopefully he will be good to go for Sunday. Way to go Marv!
  • With Josh Smith in foul trouble, Zaza Pachulia had to step his game up, and step it up he did. Big Z had 9 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, but his impact was so much greater. And I don't think we're going to forget his postgame interview for a long, long time.
  • The game plan tonight was to attack, attack, and then attack some more. The Hawks did just that, to the tune of 47 free throw attempts. When the offense was struggling (and let's be honest, it did several times tonight), the ability to knock down free throws kept them in it.
  • Josh Childress knew after Game 5 he'd have to play a bigger role if the Hawks were to force Game 7, and he was everything the Hawks needed tonight. 15 points, 6 rebounds (3 of which were offensive, and all felt like they came at key junctures), and 3 assists for Chills. Just outstanding work by the Hawks bench all around in general.
What Could Have Gone Better
  • You know what? I could list several things here I wish the Hawks had done differently or better, but this isn't the regular season. All that matters is the score at the end of the game. As far as I'm concerned, nothing went wrong tonight that 103-100 doesn't make up for.

Postgame Videos


Zaza Pachulia, in the greatest post-game interview ever


Locker room interviews with Josh Childress, Zaza Pachulia, and Mike Bibby


Joe Johnson and Josh Smith at the podium
Mike Woodson at the podium