They’re back in the loss column.
The Boston Celtics lost (again) Wednesday night in a 122-114 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden. This is the first of three games the two teams will play against each other in the next week, too.
Trae Young (40 points, eight assists, two steals) and Clint Capela (24 points, 13 rebounds) dominated the C’s on both ends of the court.
Jayson Tatum, meanwhile, was one of the C’s lone bright spots with 35 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jaylen Brown (22 points, seven assists) and Tristan Thompson (14 points, seven rebounds) looked solid, too.
The Celtics fell to 14-14 while the Hawks moved to 12-16.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Javonte Green
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Semi Ojeleye
C: Tristan Thompson
Things were fairly even through the first half of the first, though the Hawks maintained a slight edge over the C’s a majority of the time.
Boston had a few brief leads, but Atlanta almost always snatched it right back. Young and John Collins led the squad with nine points apiece.
The Celtics’ offense looked solid, too. Tatum (seven points), Thompson (six points, three rebounds) and Ojeleye (six points) kept the team within striking distance throughout the first.
The C’s took a two-point lead into the second quarter on three straight Tatum free throws. And the momentum began to shift.
ATLANTA FINDS EDGE
The Celtics had an edge on the Hawks to start the quarter, but the pendulum slowly swung in the opposite direction by the end.
Neither team played much defense, and it started to show in the second. Boston completed 17 of 30 two-point shots in the first half while Atlanta finished 21 of 30.
Tatum continued to stand out for the C’s with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (63.6%) and two steals through two quarters.
The Hawks simply were the better team, though. Young (15 points), Capela (12 points, eight rebounds), Collins (12 points) and Cam Reddish (11 points) all scored double-figures in the first 24 minutes.
The game entered halftime with Atlanta up 62-56.
HAWKS BUILD MOMENTUM
The Hawks didn’t let up in the third.
Atlanta maintained its lead with some help from Young, who led the team with 24 points and seven assists. Capela remained a backcourt force, with nine of his 10 rebounds coming off the defensive glass.
The Celtics hung in there for most of the quarter as Brown began to heat up. But the Hawks eventually regained momentum.
Boston’s offense wasn’t bad, but its defense certainly wasn’t up to snuff. That cost the team dearly as the quarter continued, with Atlanta putting up 52 points in the paint through the first three frames
Atlanta took a nine-point advantage into the final quarter.
THAT’S AN “L”
Boston just couldn’t close the gap.
The C’s made it a three-point game less than four minutes into the quarter on a Robert Williams floater. But the Hawks pushed their lead back to six in just 24 seconds.
That lead quickly became 10, and Boston struggled to come back. Tatum helped chip away at Atlanta’s lead late in the fourth, but it was too little too late.
Young’s offensive dominance continued through the final moment of Wednesday’s game. He finished the contest with 40 points, eight assists and two steals despite eight turnovers.
That was enough for Atlanta to claim victory over Boston. The C’s lost 122-114.
PLAY OF THE GAME
We love a good Robert Williams dunk.
The Celtics and Hawks will square off for the second game in a row Friday night at TD Garden. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.