The Hawks had won their previous two games both against the Wizards. The Hawks are 8th in the Eastern Conference and four games behind the No. 6 New York Knicks and a game behind the No. 7 Miami Heat.
The Celtics also won their previous matchup against the Atlanta Hawks 126-101 on November 16 and has now won three straight against the Hawks continuing from last season where they won the last game of the three-game season series on February 13, 2022.
Celtics point guard Marcus Smart tossed out late in the game
Marcus Smart had to get ejected from the game after a scuffle with Hawks point guard Trae Young after a layup with 1 ½ minutes left in the game. What started it was that Young had his foot and kicked Smart in the groin area after attempting the layup.
Smart got a technical and was ejected after a lengthy review by the officials. Young also got a technical foul for being in that scuffle with Young but got to take two free throws after everything had gone down.
Before Saturday’s game, Smart had six technical fouls called against him for complaining to officials during games. Smart finished the game with 11 points, six assists, one block and a rebound.
We’ll see what kind of punishments Smart will face as a result in terms of suspensions and/or fines, and Malcolm Brogdon may have to start at point guard, as Derrick White is already starting at shooting guard due to lineup shifts due to the Robert Williams III injury.
Celtics were able to stop a comeback from the Hawks
The Celtics lead by as much as 16 in the 2nd quarter but the Hawks climbed back in the 4th quarter.
The Hawks were able to cut the Celtics lead to five after a tip-in by center Clint Kapela with 8:06 remaining in the game to bring it to 108-103 before Smart hit a three. Then Trae Young pulled the Hawks within a five point deficit again with a three-pointer, before Al Horford answered back with a three and a Tatum layup brought the Celtics back to ten.
The Celtics have had their fair share of chokes this season, but this time they were able to hold on for their second straight win against the Hawks.
Celtics player of the game: Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, snagged 15 rebounds and dished out six assists in the win against the Hawks. This is the 2nd time that Tatum has had 34 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists in a game this season, as he had a 34 point, 19 rebound and 6 assist game in the January 19 win against Golden State. Tatum is the 4th Celtics player to have such a stat line multiple times in a career. This is Tatum’s 50th 25+ point game of the season, in which he leads the league in that category.
Check out this nasty dunk after beautiful ball movement from the Celtics.
Tatum also had 1 block in the game as well. The one block was his 300th block of his career which makes him the 15th Celtic to have 300 blocks in his career.
The Celtics will continue their road trip on Monday in Houston to face the Rockets at 8 pm Eastern on NBC Sports Boston. The Celtics will face the Hawks again at TD Garden to try to sweep the season series for the last game of the season on April 9th.