Boston avoided disaster during the final minute of a close game after giving up two offensive rebounds to the Hawks. The C’s owe all the praise to Al Horford.
Horford, playing in the building he called home for the first nine seasons of his career, logged the biggest block of the game with 39.7 seconds left when he swatted John Collins’ layup attempt away and right into the hands of Jayson Tatum. Tatum immediately took the ball in the other direction and connected with Malcolm Brogdon for an uncontested dunk to give the Celtics a 131-123 lead.
That series of events sealed the victory for Boston after it could have easily gone the other way. Had Collins made his basket on Atlanta’s third shot of the possession, the Hawks would have clawed to within four points after trailing by as many as 16. With Trae Young on the other side of the ball, things could have gone sideways for the Celtics during those final 40 seconds.
Instead, Horford came up clutch with his second block of the night to seal the victory as the C’s went on to close out a 134-125 triumph.
Jayson Tatum put together his second-best rebounding night of the season Saturday night in Atlanta. He also just so happened to drop a team-best 34 points in the process.
Tatum’s 15 rebounds stood as the game’s top mark on the night. All 15 of his boards were hauled in at the defensive end. No other player in the game grabbed more than nine rebounds.
En route to his 34 points, Tatum shot a strong 12-for-25 from the field, which included a 7-for-11 effort from 2-point range. He also contributed six assists and a blocked shot, and he led the game in plus/minus rating at plus-13.
Box Score Nuggets
- The teams combined to score a whopping 132 points in the paint, 70 by Atlanta and 62 by Boston.
- All eight Celtics who appeared in the game scored at least eight points, led by 34 from Jayson Tatum.
- Tatum led the game in rebounds with 15, while no other player grabbed more than nine.
- Boston was red-hot from the field, canning 54.7 percent of its field goals and 47.6 percent of its 3s.
- Trae Young scored a game-high 35 points and also dished out a game-high 13 assists.
- Atlanta outscored Boston 20-5 in second-chance points thanks to its 13 offensive rebounds.
- Malcolm Brogdon tallied 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal off the bench for Boston.
- Sam Hauser shot 4-for-5 from long distance en route to 12 points off the bench.
- Atlanta made 15 free throws, while Boston attempted only 12.
- The teams combined to commit only 18 turnovers - 10 by Atlanta, and eight by Boston.
- Young's 35 points were more than double the next-highest total on the Hawks (17 by Saddiq Bey).
- Boston tallied 35 assists and had six players tally at least three helpers.
- Jaylen Brown tied Derrick White for the team high in assists with seven, and he also scored 24 points.
Quote of the Night
"Wild finish, but great way to start out the road trip."- Jayson Tatum on grabbing the win in Atlanta