Keys to the Game: Hawks 108, Celtics 92

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Key Moment

The Boston Celtics looked like they were about to erase a 15-point halftime deficit against the Atlanta Hawks Friday night when they pulled within one point of the home team early in the fourth quarter. Instead, Atlanta blew the game back open and finished with a double-digit win at State Farm Arena.

After Jayson Tatum hit a fadeaway jumper at the 9:42 mark of the fourth to make it an 85-84 ballgame, Boston endured a 1-for-12 shooting stretch that lasted the next eight-plus minutes.

Meanwhile, Atlanta went off on an 18-2 run, fueled by the shooting of Bogdan Bogdanovich, who tallied 10 points over a span of seven-plus minutes down the stretch.

Marcus Smart was the only Celtics player who knocked down a shot during their dismal scoring drought.

Down 17 with 2:56 remaining, C’s head coach Ime Udoka pulled the plug on his first-stringers to rest them up for the second part of their back-to-back Saturday in New Orleans.

From there, the Hawks soared to a 108-92 win.

Key Player

Marcus Smart hasn’t skipped a beat since returning from the Health and Safety Protocols earlier this week. He was also one of Boston’s few consistent bright spots Friday night.

The veteran point guard tallied 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and just one turnover during 32-plus minutes of action.

Although he didn’t lead the Celtics in any of those categories, he was by far their most efficient scorer, shooting 6-of-8 from the field, 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. The rest of the team shot just 31.1 percent from the field, including 16.1 percent from deep.

Smart was also the catalyst behind Boston’s run in the third quarter, which saw it battle back from a 15-point deficit. Although the C’s couldn’t get over the hump, Smart was still on his A-game throughout the night.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown led the game in points (26) and rebounds (12).
  • It was the third straight double-double for Brown, marking the longest such streak of his career.
  • John Collins and Trae Young shared the scoring lead for Atlanta, logging 21 points apiece.
  • Collins and Young also tied for the team-lead in rebounds with nine apiece.
  • Boston shot 7-of-36 from 3-point range (19.4 percent).
  • Young missed 17 of his 25 shot attempts.
  • The Celtics had a 51-43 advantage on the glass.
  • Atlanta had a 13-9 lead in second-chance points despite pulling down six fewer offensive rebounds than Boston.
  • Young dished out a game-high six assists.
  • Atlanta's bench outscored Boston's second unit 46-17.
  • Boston's shooting struggles from the field didn't carry over to the free-throw line, where it shot 25-of-27 (92.6 percent).

Quote of the Night

Jaylen Brown on bouncing back in Game 2 of Boston's back-to-back Saturday in New Orleans.