Jaylen Brown puts home a layup during Game 2 against Atlanta

Keys to the Game: Celtics 119, Hawks 106

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment


The Celtics had a choice to make after falling behind 22-11 out of the gates Tuesday night: respond, or fold. They chose the former, and in resounding fashion.

Boston responded to its 11-point deficit by rattling off the game’s next 14 points to pull ahead 25-22. That run not only got them back into the game, but it deposited an arena’s worth of energy in their back pocket to fuel their performance the rest of the night.

The Celtics rode that momentum to a 15-point lead during the second quarter, and a 20-point lead during the third quarter. They never looked back from there as they maintained an advantage of at least eight points the rest of the way en route to a 119-106 victory.

What may have initiated that game-changing, 14-0 run during the opening frame was a substitution. Robert Williams checked into the contest at the 6:34 mark with the C’s trailing 17-9. He didn’t immediately change the tenor of the game, but he wasn’t far off from doing so.

Williams scored his first basket of the night a minute and 41 seconds after he checked in, on a cutting layup off a pass from Jaylen Brown. He would go on to also score Boston’s next two baskets, all while upping the team’s defensive energy. He later assisted on a Marcus Smart 3-pointer that tied the game up at 22-22.

Once the Celtics gained control of this game, they never let it go. They responded every time Atlanta made a push and comfortably held on through the final buzzer.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum returned to his normal ways during Game 2 by stuffing the stat sheet with a game-high point total and a team-high rebound total.

Tatum fueled the Celtics to a 2-0 series lead by dropping 29 points to tie Dejounte Murray for the top mark in the game. He did so while not attempting a single free throw. How did he get there? By shooting 12-for-22 from the floor and 5-for-9 from long distance.

He wound up with the team’s only double-double as well, thanks to his team-high 10 rebounds, all of which were grabbed at the defensive end of the floor. Tatum closed out his box score with six assists, a steal and a blocked shot during nearly 40 minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Five Celtics scored at least 13 points, led by Jayson Tatum's 29.
  • Tatum also led the team in rebounds with 10.
  • Malcolm Brogdon threatened to log a triple-double off the bench with his 13 points, game-high eight assists and seven rebounds.
  • Brogdon and Al Horford led the game in plus/minus rating at plus-20.
  • Dejounte Murray tied Tatum for the game's top scoring mark with 29 points.
  • Trae Young added in 24 points.
  • Boston's top two scorers (Tatum and Derrick White) combined to shoot 23-for-38, while Atlanta's top two scorers (Murray and Young) combined to shoot 20-for-46.
  • The game featured a total of only 18 free throws - 10 by Boston, and eight by Atlanta.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic led all reserves with 18 points.
  • Boston outscored Atlanta 64-40 in the paint.
  • The Celtics logged shooting splits of 55.8 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from distance, and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Quote of the Night

"The Playoffs is all about adjustments, trying to move on from game to game, see what you can do better, right? We had two days of prep and two days of film, and I think we played better."

- Jayson Tatum on Boston delivering during Game 2