Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Why did the halftime buzzer have to sound? Everything was going so well for Boston. And by well, we mean perfectly.

The Celtics came out of the gates on Tuesday night looking like the best team in the NBA. They were dominant on offense, scoring 66 first-quarter points. They were strong on defense, limiting the Hawks to just 44.2 percent shooting.

Then halftime arrived, and everything changed.

Boston was ice cold during the second half. It managed to score just 39 points during the entire second half – three fewer than it tallied during the first quarter alone. The C’s shot 35.0 percent from the field and committed 12 turnovers over the final two periods.

This wasn’t simply a veer into a different direction for Boston. It was a complete 180. From near-perfect, first-half basketball to errant second-half play, the Celtics looked like two different teams Tuesday night.

The same could be said for the Hawks, who turned their fortunes around during the second half. Atlanta dropped 59 points over the final two quarters to turn what was once a 23-point deficit into a four-point victory. The Hawks capitalized on Boston’s downward turn to finish off a complete role reversal.

Key Player

Jeff Green scored a game-high 25 points. Jared Sullinger poured in 22 to go with nine rebounds. Rajon Rondo went nuts, totaling 19 assists and 12 boards. But who was the key player of this game? Dennis Schroder.

Yes, Dennis Schroder.

The second-year point guard out of Germany was a game-changer Tuesday night. He came off of Atlanta’s bench to score 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting while also dishing out four assists.

Those numbers don’t justify his impact on the game. He was tenacious. He was aggressive. He was so good, in fact, that he forced Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer to leave arguably his best player, Jeff Teague, on the bench for the majority of the second half.

Schroder was compared to Rajon Rondo leading up to last year’s NBA Draft. His body, speed, defensive potential and passing skills were all comparable to Rondo. On Tuesday, he showcased another similarity to the four-time All-Star: the ability to alter the course of an NBA game.

Box Score Nuggets

  • There were only two lead changes in the game.
  • Boston's scoring outputs of 19 points in the third and 20 points in the fourth were both less than half the amount it scored in the first quarter alone (42 points).
  • The Celtics out-rebounded the Hawks 42-31.
  • Jeff Green scored a game-high 25 points.
  • Rajon Rondo led the game in both assists (19) and rebounds (12).
  • No Hawks player grabbed more than six rebounds in the game.
  • Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 24 points. He shot 6-of-7 from 3-point range.
  • Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to dish out seven assists.
  • Al Horford scored 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
  • Atlanta scored at least 29 points during three of the four quarters.
  • Evan Turner scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
  • Olynyk, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap tied for the game high in steals with three apiece.
  • No player on Atlanta's roster made more than eight shots, while two Celtics made at least nine.
  • Jared Sullinger neared a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Quote of the Night

The game honors the more physical team, time and time again.

Brad Stevens on the role physicality plays in wins and losses

Key Player

  • Facebook
  • Twitter