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Key Moment
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Key Moment

After surrendering 122 points to the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics collectively stressed the need to up their intensity on the defensive side of the ball.

During Friday night’s rematch, they did just that, all while giving Atlanta a taste of its high-scoring medicine.

The Celtics opened up the game with one of their best defensive halves of the season, holding Atlanta to just 41 points while erupting for 66 of their own. Most of their damage came during the final five-and-a-half minutes before the break when they went on a 24-7 run, turning an eight-point lead into a 25-point advantage.

Six different Celtics players scored during that stretch, but Kemba Walker was the main catalyst as he tallied 11 points over a span of less than four minutes. Robert Williams also provided a great source of energy at the start of the run, converting two alley-oops less than a minute apart from each other.

From that point forward, Atlanta never stood a chance, as Boston went on to turn its 25-point halftime cushion into a 121-109 win.

Key Player

Kemba Walker has been heating up over the last few games, and on Friday night he was straight-up on fire.

Walker paced the Celtics with a season-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, 5-of-8 from 3-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. Twenty of those points came during the first half, as he helped Boston to put the Hawks away early after building up a 25-point lead at the break.

Walker also corralled five rebounds, tied for the team-high in assists with six, and led the Celtics with three steals.

Coach Brad Stevens seemed most impressed with Walker’s effort on the defensive end, where he did a solid job of defending Trae Young. His effort on that side of the ball stood out all the way until the final buzzer, as he even took a charge with the Celtics ahead by double digits with just a minute left in the game.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Kemba Walker led the Celtics with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field.
  • Walker's counterpart, Trae Young, also shot 10-of-16 from the field, and finished with 31 points.
  • The Celtics outscored Atlanta 66-52 inside the paint.
  • Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Walker each dished out six assists.
  • Three different Celtics players logged three or more blocks, led by Robert Williams' four swats.
  • Clint Capela also had four blocks for Atlanta, while also leading the game in rebounds with 15.
  • Both teams tallied 15 second-chance points.
  • Cam Reddish led the game with five steals.
  • The Celtics and Hawks attempted 90 field goals apiece, but Boston converted 12 more (50) than Atlanta (38).
  • Boston doubled up Atlanta in fast-break points, 12-6.
  • The C's only attempted 10 free throws, while the Hawks attempted 25 such shots.
  • Boston's largest lead was 27 points. Atlanta's largest lead was one point.

Quote of the Night

You can tell he’s really coming, so that’s a real positive for our team.

Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker's re-emergence

Key Player
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