© Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
By Patrick Whalen
The Celtics coming off a 7 game win streak headed home to take on Atlanta on Friday. Before the game the Celtics bench recieved a big boost as both Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown returned to action friday. This meant that the Celtics injury report has now been cut down to just Al Horford and Guerschon Yabusele after having 5 players out on Monday. The Hawks on the other hand were coming in off a loss to Dallas and losing 5 of their last 6 to bring them to 6-21 on the season.
The Celtics offsene came out firing once again with 42 points in the first quarter to jump out to a 23 point lead. The Hawks were able to cut the halftime lead down to 67-56 but the Celtics then came out of lockerroom firing again with a 41 point third quarter to put their lead back up to 26 points going into the fourth quarter. The Celtics offensive attack was lead by a three headed monster of Kyrie, Morris, and Tatum who all had over 20 points. Kyrie led the way with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 5 assists including this one to Robert Williams (Basketball-Reference.com).
Jayson Tatum had 22 points including 15 thrid quarter points (NBC Sports Boston). Tatum would get his 22 points on 8-14 shooting and had 3 rebounds and 2 steals to go along with the 22 points.
Marcus Morris had 20 points on the night on 7-12 shooting including 6-8 from three point range and also had 6 rebounds. Many of his threes were a product of great ball movement by the Celtics like this one in the first quarter.
Onto top of the great performance from the starters the Celtics also got some off the bench from Daniel Theis and Gordon Hayward. Theis went for 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, meanwhile Hayward had 19 points and 5 assists including this one on a lob to Theis.
As a team the Celtics were able to shoot very well from the field as they shot 48% and they were on fire from downtown at 49% including 19 made threes.
The Hawks offense was very streaky on friday night, scoring only 19 points in the first and then coming out firing in the second scoring 37 points. As a team they had a below average night shooting 42% from the field and from three. They also struggled from the line shooting only 63% from the line while the Celtics shot 90%. The Hawks were lead by rookie Kevin Huerter with 19 points on 7-10 shooting and 5-8 from three. On the other hand the Hawks two young stars, John Collins and Trae Young, both struggled. Collins had 11 points on just 2-8 shooting and 7-12 from the free throw line but was also able to get 14 rebounds. Young had just 9 points on 2-11 shooting and 0-6 from three. Celtics fans also got to see the ageless wonder of Vince Carter who had 12 points off the bench on 5-8 shooting at 41 years old.
The Celtic defense feasted on the young Hawks squad as the Celtics forced 24 turnovers including 15 steals (Basketball-Refernce.com). All those turnovers led to the Celtics scoring over 40 points off of turnovers (NBC Sports Boston). The Celtic defense also had 9 blocks on the defensive end, 5 of them from rookie Robert Williams who has been getting more minutes with the injuries to Yabusele and Horford. Williams also had 5 rebounds to go with the 5 blocks (Basketball-Refernce.com).
This dominate win by the Celtics now pushes there win streak to 8 in a row and makes their record 18-10 now. The win now has the Celtics 3.5 games back of the Raptors for the best record in the eastern conference. Up next for the Celtics is a quick 1 game road trip to Detroit to take on the pistons before coming home for 4 straight games. The Celtics are already 2-0 against the piston this year including a win in Detroit. Horford and Yabusele will most likely be out again, Horford with patellar tendonitis and Yabusele with a right ankle sprain. Lets see if the boys can stay hot and take a 3-0 season series lead against the Pistons and strech this win streak to 9 in a row.