The Boston Celtics are back in the win column.
Boston stuck it to the Atlanta Hawks, running all over them en route to a 114-96 win at State Farm Arena on Friday night to halt an ugly three-game losing streak. The Celtics scored a whopping 45 points in the first quarter and the Hawks just couldn’t recover from the deficit.
Aron Baynes led Boston with 16 points, while Jayson Tatum (14), Kyrie Irving (13), Terry Rozier (12), Gordon Hayward (11) and Jaylen Brown (10) all reached double-digit points for the Celtics. Semi Ojeleye chipped in eight, with Brad Wanamaker and Robert Williams combining for nine points in the victory.
With the win, the Celtics improved to 10-9, while the Hawks fell to 3-16.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Aron Baynes
CELTICS START STRONG
It was nothing but Boston in the first.
The Celtics scored 30 (!) points in the first 7:46 of the opening quarter, with Irving pacing his teammates with 11 points and the team taking a comfortable 45-23 lead into the second.
The C’s went 8-of-12 from distance, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Irving and Tatum, shot 64 percent from the field and posted a 178.2 offensive rating through the first 12 minutes. The 45 first-quarter points not only were a season-high for Boston, but the most it has tallied in a road game since 1996 when the team did it in Dallas.
The Celtics also collected 11 assists in the quarter, with Baynes leading the way with four.
The Celtics scored just 16 points in the second quarter and looked like a completely different team after a monster first, but fortunately for them, the lead remained intact as Boston led 61-45 at the break.
The C’s went 4-for-17 in the second, a far cry from their 64 percent first-quarter performance. Smart and Rozier were the highlight of the second-quarter action as Rozier showcased his dunking skills a slick pass from Smart.
Atlanta cut the deficit to just 16 heading into the locker room thanks to strong play from John Collins.
Irving led everyone with 13 points, with Collins just behind him netting 11 for Atlanta. Baynes was the only other Celtic to reach double figures (10) in the second.
HAWKS ATTEMPT COMEBACK
Boston began the third by hitting three consecutive field goals but Atlanta kept chipping away at the deficit it was faced with.
The Hawks went on a 16-2 run to cut the Celtics’ advantage to 15 midway through the frame. Boston played sporadic offense throughout the quarter, but the team did get solid defense with blocks from Hayward and Robert Williams. The C’s struggled to hit 3-pointers but were able to up their lead to 18 for an 82-64 edge heading into the final 12 minutes.
Tatum and Baynes took over as point leaders for the Green with 14 each.
C’S CLOSE IT OUT
The Hawks tried to mount a comeback after going down nearly 30 points in the final 12 minutes.
Atlanta trimmed Boston’s lead little by little with just over four minutes to go, but the Celtics were just too much.
PLAY OF THE GAME
*Insert eyes emoji*
The Celtics quickly get back to work when they travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Saturday night. Tip-off from American Airlines Center is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
Kyrie Irving was the first Celtics player to get his game together after a sluggish start.…