BOSTON — Playoff basketball came to TD Garden with a bang Friday night.
After dropping Games 1 and 2 of their best-of-seven first round series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Celtics came out swinging in Game 3 with a huge 37-point first quarter.
Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas took that term literally midway through the quarter. As Hawks guard Dennis Schröder ran down the court after making a layup, he ran past Thomas — and got a nice slap on his way by.
It’s hard to be certain if Thomas’ slap was intentional, but either way, Schröder wasn’t pleased. On the ensuing possession, he let Thomas know in the form of a firm hip check.
Schröder’s retaliation set Thomas off, as the 5-foot-9 guard needed big man Jared Sullinger to restrain him from attacking the Hawks guard.
Both Thomas and Schröder were hit with technical fouls in the ensuing scuffle, one of many in a rather chippy first half at the Garden.