The Celtics had a chance to earn their third straight win, but fell 108-92 on Friday night to the Hawks.
With the loss, Boston falls back to .500 at 25-25. Atlanta, meanwhile, improves to 22-25.
The Eastern Conference will be interesting, to say the least.
Here is the full box score.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
Ime Udoka’s 50th game as a head coach was pretty standard for the Celtics. Shots didn’t fall, Boston made it interesting down the stretch but the opponent ultimately benefited from that final run of the game.
Atlanta closed out the first two quarters strong, but Boston’s effort to make it close in the third helped them get within a possession. The Hawks bench hurt them on offense, outscoring the Celtics’ unit 40-11.
Boston shot 34.9% from the field, and 16 turnovers contributed to a quintessential fourth quarter collapse for the Celtics.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Bogdan Bogdanovi? took over from deep at the end of the game, hitting a couple of clutch 3s to give Atlanta a bit of breathing room. Credit where credit is due, these were tough shots against Rob Williams. He finished with 19 points behind Trae Young (21) and John Collins (21).
— Jaylen Brown recognized Boston’s shots weren’t falling early and in turn attacked the basket all night. That aggressiveness kept them in it. He was 2-for-8 from deep but hit a 3-pointer in the fourth that brought Boston within one point and found other ways to contribute a team-high 26 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
— Marcus Smart and Rob Williams have been great the last few games for Boston, and that continued Friday.
Smart was efficient with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal, shooting 2-for-4 from 3-point range, which was the best percentage of any of his teammates. Williams, meanwhile, had an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double with an assist and steal.
By halftime with Boston down 62-47, DraftKings Sportsbook didn’t see it coming back at +450 odds. Surely no one placed that wager, but the Celtics almost made it look like a missed opportunity. Almost.
Boston has a back-to-back and heads to Louisiana to take on the New Orleans Pelicans next. Tip on Saturday is at 7 p.m. ET.