Hawks ad­vance to se­cond rd

Business Mirror - - SPORTS -

BOS­TON—At­lanta ad­vanced to the se­cond round of the Na­tioal Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NBA) play­offs with a 10492 Game Six vic­tory over Bos­ton on Thurs­day, beat­ing the Celtics in a play­off se­ries for the first time since 1958. Paul Mill­sap had 17 points and eight re­bounds, while Al Hor­ford and Kent Baze­more each added 15 points for the Hawks, who were based in Saint Louis, when they beat the Celtics in the 1958 Fi­nals. “Good to fi­nally beat them,” said Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who was on At­lanta’s 2012 team that lost to Bos­ton in the first round. “It feels good.” The Hawks open the se­cond round on Mon­day at Cleve­land. The Celtics last three play­off ap­pear­ances have ended in first-round ex­its. Com­ing off a 27-point win in Game Five, the Hawks took ad­van­tage of poor shoot­ing by Bos­ton on Thurs­day, build­ing as much as a 28-point lead. At­lanta blew the game open with a 39-point third quar­ter in which it shot 74 per­cent from the field. “We learned from be­fore with this team that no lead is safe,” Hor­ford said. “To start the third it was im­por­tant for us to get off to a good start and just keep at­tack­ing and have that men­tal­ity of keep at­tack­ing play af­ter play.”

The Celtics shot just 36 per­cent for the game. They made a fi­nal charge to get as close as 10 points, but At­lanta was able to close it out.

Isa­iah Thomas led Bos­ton with 25 points and 10 as­sists. Jae Crow­der added 15 points.

For most of the game, the Hawks sim­ply ben­e­fited from Bos­ton’s strug­gles.

The Celtics played most of the se­cond half with Crow­der bat­tling foul trou­ble.

He went to the bench af­ter pick­ing up his fourth foul with 11:21 left in third quar­ter. Coach Brad Stevens rolled dice and re-in­serted him, only for Crow­der to be called for his fifth foul with 8:13 to play.

Crow­der fouled out with three min­utes to play but most of the dam­age was done much ear­lier.

AT­LANTA’S Paul Mill­sap blocks Bos­ton’s Jae Crow­der (99) in the first half of Game Six on Thurs­day.

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