Boston, MA– The Boston Celtics pulled off another solid win behind an impressive effort on offense, but it came at a bit of a higher cost than most of the other recent victories for Boston.
Taking on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, the Celtics jumped out to a big twenty-five point lead against one of the league's worst teams, but this lead began to dwindle and the Celtics found the Hawks making a massive charge back and actually pressuring the Celtics into a complete in-game collapse. Boston has seen major leads blown during this season already, but this time, the Celtics held on and proved victorious by a score of 129-120.
The Celtics looked poor on defense, but they undoubtedly had one of their best offensive performances of the season, which was led by Kyrie Irving who recorded his second straight double double with thirty points and eleven rebounds, coming just one assist short of a triple double. Irving was the star, but it was Jaylen Brown, who continues to come into his own during this season, who buoyed the Celtics against Atlanta's late game stand as he recorded twenty-three points off the bench, including a crucial three-pointer that ended up being the dagger against the Hawks.
Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum also performed admirably in the starting lineup with each player approaching twenty points, but the Celtics got almost nothing out of Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.
This wasn't the fault of the players, though, as they have been improving in recent weeks, but their game suffered because of injuries. Horford left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury, but while he returned for the fourth quarter, he did not have much of an impact and head coach Brad Stevens is eyeing some rest for the Celtics' center.
As for Hayward, he suffered a strained neck and currently finds himself in concussion protocol and is doubtful for tonight's game against the Denver Nuggets.
The Celtics are ailing, but they're not going to give up yet. They're just two games back of the Philadelphia 76ers and the number three seed, after all!