Thursday, May 01, 2008
CELTICS 110, HAWKS + REFS 85
The Celtics are capable of such a high level of basketball, that despite the best effort of the officials to give lowly Atlanta a boost, the Celtics still rolled over them.
Pierce led the way with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Garnett had 20 points, 5 boards, and 7 assists. Ray Allen started slow, but his 5 for 8 from 3 point land helped him finish wit 19 points. Rondo had another impressive night, with 12 points and 7 assists. Rajon now has 40 assists in this series, with only 4 turnovers.
The real story, however, was the quality of play from the Celtics bench. Leon Powe had a great night with 10 points and 7 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds), but the numbers don't tell the story. All of those rebounds were hard ones underneath the post. He also drew a pair of huge charging calls early in the game that set the tone for the Celtics' defense all night.
The Celtic bench combined for 35 points, whereas Atlanta's only amassed 14.
The only thing that kept the Hawks in the game was free throws. Atlanta got to the line 29 times (the Celtics only 15 times). The refs called a very tight game when the C's were on defense, and a very loose one when the Hawks were defending. Free throws accounted for 29.4% of Atlanta's point production.
But the Celtics (when they're on their game) are simply too good to fall to a team like Atlanta, even with the help of the refs. The Celtics outrebounded, outhustled, outshot, and completely outplayed the Hawks.
Game 6 is Friday night in Atlanta.
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
AP Photo/Charles Krupa