Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – Kyle Korver was the linchpin to Atlanta’s
comeback on both ends of the floor as the Hawks rallied from 23 points down to
upend the Boston Celtics, 109-105, at Philips Arena.
Korver scored 13 of his 24 points in the second half and helped slow down
Rajon Rondo and the Celtics, who committed 23 turnovers and shot just 35.0
percent from the field after the break.
Paul Millsap totaled 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Hawks,
who capped their four-game homestand with three straight wins.
Jeff Green netted 25 points for the Celtics, but he missed a potential tying
jumper down the stretch as Boston dropped its fifth straight.
Rondo finished with 12 rebounds and 19 assists, 14 coming in a lopsided first
half as Boston shot a scorching 61.4 percent and led 66-50 at halftime.
The script flipped in the third quarter.
Korver, who took on the assignment of guarding Rondo, sparked the turnaround
with 10 points in the frame and Atlanta pulled within three, 83-80, when
Millsap scored off a missed free throw in the final minute.
Dennis Schroder’s three-point play 1:12 into the fourth gave the Hawks their
first lead, 88-85, since the opening stages, and an Al Horford slam gave the
hosts a 98-92 cushion with just over five minutes to play.
The Hawks never trailed again, but a Green three-point play followed by a
Millsap miss with 25.9 seconds remaining gave Boston one final shot trailing
by two, 107-105.
Green was left wide open at the free throw line, and after his leaner rimmed
out, Kent Bazemore leaked out for a game-sealing layup.
Green scored in a variety of ways in a terrific 14-point showing in the first
quarter. He made a pair of hook shots, drained a 3-pointer, got two mid-range
jumpers to fall and even converted a three-point play.
His efforts, coupled with Kelly Olynyk’s bucket off a step-through at the
buzzer, helped the Celtics pour in a season-best 42 points in the first frame.
The Hawks had held their previous two opponents — New Orleans and Charlotte
— to 28 points in the first half, but their struggles continued in the second
quarter as they missed their first eight shots and committed four turnovers in
the opening five minutes.
Bradley’s layup capped an 11-0 run that extended Boston’s lead to 53-30.
This is the sixth time Rondo, who only scored two points, has recorded a
double-double without scoring at least 10 points … Korver has made 32
consecutive free throws … Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley netted 22 and 18
points, respectively, for Boston … Horford added 16 points for the Hawks
… Atlanta connected on 11 3-pointers, while Boston made a dozen.