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