Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Friday, November 22nd
Game 2: Saturday, November 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, January 15th

Hawks 66

(14-24, 2-16 away)

Celtics 86

(21-17, 13-7 home)

    Coverage: SSN

    7:00 PM ET, January 15, 2003

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 23 10 18 1566
    BOS 25 22 21 1886

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: S. Abdur-Rahim 19 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Boston: P. Pierce 28 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Celtics get back to winning, Hawks fall flat

    BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics played the Atlanta Hawks at the right time.

    Paul Pierce scored 28 points as the Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with an 86-66 victory over the Hawks on Wednesday night.

    The Celtics beat Atlanta for the third time this year and swept the season series for the first time since the 1985-86 season. Boston has won seven of their last eight against Atlanta and five overall.

    "We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game,'' Pierce said. "Both teams had long road trips, and we just wanted to get back on track.''

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 19 points for the Hawks, who lost their 12th straight road game and have lost eight of 11 overall.

    "We've played some tough road teams,'' Abdur-Rahim said. "We've had some situations where we should've won but the road seems to be our nemesis right now. If I had the answers, I would change it.''

    The 66 points for Atlanta was a season-low, eclipsing the previous mark set on Dec. 3 against New Jersey.

    The Celtics extended their largest lead of the night to 86-62 on a pair of free throws by J.R. Bremer with 3:58 remaining in the fourth.

    "They are a great help defensive team,'' Hawks center Theo Ratliff said. "We didn't move the ball well and they were causing turnovers. Standing around is not going to get it done.''

    Abdur-Rahim cut the Boston lead to 58-46 with a dunk at the 5:30 mark of the third, but the Hawks would get no closer.

    Pierce had 95 points and 30 rebounds against Atlanta this season. Antoine Walker, who earlier this season had a triple-double against the Hawks, had 20 points and seven rebounds for Boston. The Celtics won for the third time in the last 11 games.

    "We just need to get back to our winning ways,'' Walker said. "We had a tough road trip so we wanted to get off to a good start.''

    Boston opened up a 47-32 lead, its biggest of the first half with 1:08 remaining, courtesy of a pair of free throws by Pierce.

    Trailing 24-14, the Hawks closed out the first quarter with a 9-1 run capped off by a runner in the lane by Abdur-Rahim.

    Nazr Mohammed scored 11 points and added nine rebounds for Atlanta, while Alan Henderson and Ratliff also each had nine rebounds.

    Bremer made his second consecutive start for the Celtics and added 13 points and six assists.

    Atlanta was 0-for-9 from 3-point range and Jason Terry was 13-for-41 from the field against Boston this season.

    Game notes

    Tony Battie was out of the Celtics' lineup with a sore right knee. ... Glenn Robinson missed his fourth game with a sore elbow for Atlanta. ... Atlanta has not scored over 100 points in 20 straight games. ... Celtics guard Tony Delk missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle. ... Atlanta is 2-16 on the road this season, which is second worst in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls. ... Vin Baker left the game at the end of the third quarter with a sprained left ankle.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 66 86
    FGM-FGA 29-78 (.372) 28-75 (.373)
    3PM-3PA 0-9 (.000) 7-29 (.241)
    FTM-FTA 8-17 (.471) 23-30 (.767)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-52 9-39
    Assists 17 18
    Turnovers 22 11
    Steals 8 14
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 1 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 19
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 28
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0