Give credit where credit is due: the Atlanta Hawks played well Friday night, and they made every shot they needed to make down the stretch.
The biggest shot of the night was Trae Young’s driving floater with 45.5 seconds left. That bucket pushed Atlanta ahead by five, just seconds after Jayson Tatum misfired on a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the other end.
Young added on two free throws a few short moments later, after another missed 3 by Boston, to push Atlanta ahead by seven and essentially ice the game. The C’s never got closer than six from that moment on.
The Hawks scored on five straight possessions from the 2:22 mark through the final buzzer. That stretch began with Atlanta leading by only two, and ended with it winning 130-122. During the run, Young and Dejounte Murray each made 3-pointers, and Young scored his floater and four free throws.
Marcus Smart was fantastic during Game 3. Unfortunately, his performance just wasn’t enough to push the Celtics into the winner’s circle.
Smart poured in 24 points for Boston to mark his highest scoring output of the entire season. He notched those points on a 9-for-19 shooting effort from the field, which included a game-high five makes from long distance.
Smart also tied Jaylen Brown for the game’s top steals mark with three, and led Boston in assists with eight. He rounded out his box score with three rebounds during his nearly 33 minutes of action.
Boston’s loss put a damper on Smart’s night, as did his late tumble to the ground on a rebound attempt. He was knocked off-balance while he was in the air attempting to grab a board and landed directly on his back. Smart hobbled from that moment on but was able to finish the game, and he actually scored five of his 24 points after the fall.
Box Score Nuggets
- Seven of the nine Hawks players who appeared in the game scored in double-figures.
- Grant Williams scored 14 points off the bench for Boston after not appearing during the first two games of the series.
- Jayson Tatum logged a double-double with 29 points and a team-best 10 rebounds.
- Marcus Smart scored 24 points to mark a new season high.
- Atlanta shot 56 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from long distance.
- Trae Young scored 32 points, and Dejounte Murray scored 25 for Atlanta.
- Atlanta made six more shots than Boston (51 to 45) while attempting one fewer field goal (92 to 91).
- Clint Capela logged Atlanta's only double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with 10 points.
- Young led the game in assists with nine.
- Smart and Jaylen Brown each grabbed three steals to lead the game.
- The Celtics did not block a shot during the game, while Atlanta blocked six.
Quote of the Night
"I thought that second quarter dictated the game, when (Bogdan) Bogdanovic and (Saddiq) Bey kinda made a huge difference when Trae Young went out, and I thought that gave them life and I thought they played a pretty complete game."- Joe Mazzulla on Game 3