Celtics Wrap: Boston Outlasts Gritty Hawks To Take 2-0 Series Lead

The C's need just two more wins


Apr 18, 2023

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics carried over their momentum from the series opener, taking Game 2 over the Atlanta Hawks, 119-106, Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Boston took a 2-0 series lead over Atlanta in their first-round matchup.

Check out the full box score here.

Even on an off night, the C’s kept the Hawks trailing until the final buzzer.

The Celtics got off to a relatively slow start before applying the pressure and flipping the switch in the second half. But the Hawks weren’t down for the count, cutting a 20-point lead to as little as nine within the third quarter, making for a much more competitive battle.

Atlanta tried to match Boston’s offense, shooting 24 total 3-point attempts in the first half and 48 in total. But chucking up outside shots isn’t enough alone, especially when only knocking down 16 total at a lackluster 33.3% rate.

The Hawks struggled to find a smooth, consistent rhythm beyond what Dejounte Murray provided.

Meanwhile, head coach Joe Mazzulla trusted his identical Game 1 eight-man rotation, and it proved to be enough.

Thanks to some timely offense in crunch time from Derrick White, coupled with Boston limiting its turnover total despite simultaneously getting out-rebounded by Atlanta (49-44), the Celtics hit the road just two wins away from moving on.

— Jayson Tatum led the C’s, scoring 29 points while shooting 12-of-22 from the field. The 25-year-old star also grabbed a team-leading 10 rebounds, dished out six assists and recorded a steal.

— Murray led Atlanta’s offense push with 29 points while also playing a game-leading 40 minutes. He also grabbed six rebounds and totaled three steals.

— White stepped up as Tatum’s co-star in the contest, totaling 26 points on an efficient 11-of-16 shooting night. He also had seven rebounds while tying teammate Al Horford with a game-leading three blocks. That total gave White a new career-high block total for a playoff game.

Both teams leaned toward the underwhelming side when it came down to netting outside shots, making each one worth even more. FanDuel Sportsbook set Tatum’s over/under for the night at 3.5 with +104 odds on the Over prior to tipoff. Tatum cleared those odds, shooting 5-of-9 from beyond the arc to lead Boston. A $100 wager placed on Tatum would’ve resulted in a $204 total payout.

The Celtics, now halfway to punching their ticket to the Eastern Conference semifinals, head over to Atlanta to continue the series. Game 3 against the Hawks is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Friday from State Farm Arena.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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