When Rajon Rondo’s triple-double turns out to be a side story, you know something magical just happened…
…Rondo scored 14 points while dishing out 10 helpers and hauling down a team high 11 boards on a night when the Boston Celtics biggest rebound was an amazing 3rd quarter rebound from a 19 point deficit to beat the Atlanta Hawks 89-81 on Saturday night in Atlanta.
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his team high 26 points in the third quarter as Boston got it’s first road win in it’s last five tries. Pierce also pulled down 9 boards and had 5 assists while Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass each finished in double figures with 14 and 10 respectively.
The Hawks were paced by Lou Williams 28 points, 21 of them coming the first half when Atlanta built it’s 19 point lead.Jeff Teague added 17 points, and Josh Smith, who was 2 for 12 in the second half, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
With just over six minutes remaining in the 1st half, Boston began it’s comeback which was completed on a Jared Sullinger layup with just under 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, utilizing a 14-1 run by clamping down defensively and ultimately outscoring the Hawks by a 33-9 count in the frame.
The Hawks were at a disadvantage without injured shooting guards Devin Harris and Anthony Morrow, and DeShawn Stevenson was hobbled by sore knees and saw limited action for Atlanta, who has dropped consecutive games.
The Celtics won the rebounding battle handily and forced 18 Hawks turnover in another impressive defensive performance since Doc Rivers shuffled the lineup with the return of Avery Bradley.
Boston next travels to New York to take on the Knicks on Monday night before returning home for a date with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday while Atlanta takes their two game losing streak on the road to Minnesota for a Tuesday night tilt with the Timberwolves.