NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 31st
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (17-14) at Boston Celtics (13-17), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics hope to stay in the win column when
they host the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday afternoon from TD Garden.
Boston ended a three-game slide with Saturday's 103-100 win over the visiting
Cleveland Cavaliers, as Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford each netted a team-high
19 points, while Avery Bradley added 18 points and eight rebounds.
Brandon Bass ended with 15 points for the Celtics, who had lost five of the
past seven games and led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter. The
Cavs, though, used a 32-17 run to pull within a basket, but the Celtics fended
them off to improve to 8-8 at home.
The Celtics had a 59-44 lead at halftime and shot 45.8 percent.
"The ball movement in the first half was outstanding," said Celtics coach Brad
Stevens. "And then defensively we just made it difficult enough on (Dion)
Waiters and (Kyrie) Irving. And I think that's why you try to do so they don't
go for 50 and beat you by themselves. But most of the time, you know, if we
play like we did in the first half, we can be a pretty good basketball team."
Irving scored 32 points and Waiters added 17 off the bench.
After Boston hosts the Hawks, it will play six of seven on the road. In injury
news for the Celtics, veteran forward Gerald Wallace (nose) is probable
Tuesday. Wallace had two points in less than nine minutes versus the Cavs.
Atlanta hopes to get back on track and had won five of six games until a
109-102 loss at Orlando on Sunday.
Jeff Teague paced Atlanta with 22 points to go along with eight assists, while
Paul Millsap added 17 points and seven rebounds. Lou Williams had 18 points
for the Hawks, who made 44.4 percent of their shots and got 14 points from
reserve guard Shelvin Mack.
"It's an adjustment period for us," said Teague, who is posting an average of
25.5 points per game in the last four games. "We're going to go through
it. Tonight was definitely a test for us getting into the lane, but we were
making shots early."
Al Horford will undergo surgery on his torn pectoral muscle and is most likely
gone for the season.
Kyle Korver ended with eight points and has made at least one 3-pointer in an
NBA-record 100 consecutive games.
The Hawks, who are 5-10 outside Philips Arena this season, have topped the
century mark in scoring in each of the past nine games. They are averaging
114.3 ppg in that spurt and last scored 100 or more points in 10 straight
games from Jan. 8 - 24, 1988.
Atlanta will return home to face Golden State on Friday and dropped a 94-87
decision to Boston on Nov. 23 at Philips Arena. The Celtics have won three in
a row and eight of the previous 11 matchups with the Hawks, losers in four
straight and 15 of 20 trips to Beantown.
12/31 10:26:06 ET