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.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
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.
STARS OF THE GAME
— 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.