Hawks 92, Celtics 91 - Boston, MA
By Marc D'Amico, December 31, 2013

Key Moment

Three strikes, and you’re out.

Jordan Crawford had three opportunities in the final 32.9 seconds of the game to give the Boston a win over Atlanta on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately for the Celtics, Crawford came up empty on all three of those opportunities.

“Jordan lives for that,” Brad Stevens said of taking the final shots of the game. “I think he’ll probably beat himself up over it, but that’s OK. We play again on Thursday.”

For the meantime, though, these three misses are going to sting.

Crawford’s first miss arrived with 32.9 remaining on the clock. That attempt was a 25-foot 3-pointer that missed and was rebounded by Jeff Teague. Teague took that rebound and broke out for a two-on-one fast break that resulted in a layup attempt by Shelvin Mack. Mack actually missed the layup, which gave the Celtics some unexpected life.

Stevens elected not to call for a timeout as Boston took the ball up the court in transition. The ball wound up in Crawford’s hands yet again, and yet again, he pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer. This shot missed long and bounced out toward the top of the key. Kelly Olynyk, who played fantastic in the second half, gave Boston one more shot at the win by tipping the loose ball out to Crawford before Stevens called for a timeout from the sideline with 4.2 seconds remaining.

As Boston’s coach admitted after the loss, drawing up a play with 4.2 seconds left isn’t the easiest task in the world. Stevens chose to go to Crawford in a one-on-one situation for the final shot of the game.

Crawford took the inbound pass near midcourt and went right at his defender. He sized him up with a few dribbles, went down the right side of the lane and pulled up from 10 feet out.

Strike three.

It was just one of those games for Crawford. He finished the afternoon shooting just 3-of-15 from the field. Stevens summed the performance up in eight simple words: “He missed some shots, but guys miss shots.”


Key Box Score Line

Kris Humphries played well Tuesday afternoon, but he didn’t outshine a career-best performance by Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk used an impressive second-half performance to lead the Celtics in two major categories.

The rookie big man shot the ball extremely well en route to a career-high 21 points. He made eight of his 11 field goal attempts, three of his five 3-pointers and both of his free throws.

Olynyk didn’t just score during this game, though. He showed off an impressive passing touch by tying for the team high in assists with five. Olynyk also chipped in four boards, two blocks and a steal.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston led by as many as 18 points in the game.
  • Paul Millsap finished with game highs of 34 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Neither team shot better than 42 percent from the field.
  • Atlanta won the game despite shooting just 36.3 percent from the field.
  • Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high and team-high 21 points.
  • Six players tied for the game high in assists with five apiece.
  • Jared Sullinger grabbed 10 rebounds in less than 20 minutes of action.
  • Jeff Green and Millsap were the only players in the game to grab more than one steal. They each grabbed two.
  • None of Boston's starters scored in double-figures.
  • Kyle Korver shot 1-of-6 from long range to extend his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 101 contests.
  • Kris Humphries tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds.
  • The Celtics shot 16-of-17 from the free-throw line (94.1 percent).
  • Atlanta scored 30 points in the fourth quarter after scoring no more than 23 in any of the first three quarters.

Quote of the Night

We all have confidence in each other to be able to finish a game. If that's Jeff (Green) or Gerald (Wallace) or Courtney (Lee), it doesn't matter who it is. We all trust each other. Avery Bradley on trusting his teammates to make plays down the stretch
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