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Keys to the Game: Celtics 126, Hawks 101

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Boston didn’t just beat the Hawks Wednesday night in Atlanta. It beat them down, all while missing three of its top seven players.

With Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon sidelined, and with Robert Williams still on the mend, the Celtics took it to Atlanta in its home arena and in front of a national television audience. The C’s caught fire midway through the third period and rattled off an 11-0 run that flipped a nine-point lead into a 20-point advantage. They coasted from there, pulling ahead by as many as 31 points before closing out a 126-101 win.

The beauty of this game-changing, 11-0 run was that each block of points was scored in a different way. First, Grant Williams drained two free throws before scoring on a cutting layup that was assisted by Derrick White. Then Al Horford swished home a corner 3 following another assist from White. Then Jayson Tatum went 1-on-1 and dropped in a driving layup. Finally, Luke Kornet tipped in a miss by Tatum to take the lead up to 20 for the first time of the night with 4:36 left in the third quarter.

Another onslaught by Boston arrived early in the fourth quarter, when the C’s first went on an 11-2 run that eventually extended out to a 20-6 run. That stretch of play provided the team with a 119-88 lead. Boston’s lead reached its height at the 4:41 mark of the fourth, just 41 seconds after White, Tatum, Horford and Jaylen Brown were subbed out of the game.

There was obviously no turning back from there, as Boston went on to become the first team in the league to reach 12 wins with a 12-3 record overall.

Key Player

Sleep on Luke Kornet if you dare. The Green Kornet can ball.

Kornet came off of Boston’s bench Wednesday night to log 25-plus minutes of outstanding basketball at both ends of the court. His strong play stuffed the stat sheet across the board.

The 7-foot-2 big man scored 15 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting night which included multiple reverse slams. He also hauled in eight rebounds, blocked a game-high four shots, and dished out one assist. Those point, rebound and block totals all set new season highs for Kornet.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Seven Celtics scored between 14 and 22 points, led by Jaylen Brown's 22.
  • The C's shot 21-for-46 from long range, good for a 45.7 percent clip.
  • Luke Kornet blocked four shots to match Atlanta's team total.
  • Trae Young led the game with 27 points.
  • The C's held Atlanta to 41.6 percent shooting overall, and 21.9 percent shooting from long distance.
  • Starting in place of the injured Marcus Smart, Derrick White totaled 16 points, a game-high 10 assists, five rebounds and one blocked shot.
  • Al Horford grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
  • Boston's largest lead was 31 points, while Atlanta's was two.
  • Sam Hauser scored 15 points off the bench thanks to a 5-of-6 effort from long distance.
  • Grant Williams scored 18 points, and Payton Pritchard scored 14

Quote of the Night

"We just played the game the right way. We played solid ball, and we tried to get everybody involved."

- Joe Mazzulla on what Sam Hauser has done to earn plays being drawn up for him