Isaiah Thomas Hits Game Winner as Celtics End Hawks’ Winning Streak


The Celtics traveled to Atlanta on Friday night for a battle between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference as of late. Since December 16th, the Celtics have a record of 11-3 while the Hawks are right behind that mark at 10-3. The Hawks are winners of seven straight and have developed the most efficient defense in the NBA during that span. Their league-leading defensive rating of 96.1 presented a formidable foe to the Celtics who are coming off of an impressive victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night.

All that aside, the Celtics were able to get the job done in enemy territory, defeating Atlanta 103-101 in a game that was closer than it should’ve been. Isaiah Thomas looked remarkable once again as he dropped 28 points and 9 assists. Thomas scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, which has him averaging 9.8 4Q PPG this season, the best in the NBA.

Kelly Olynyk collected 26 points and 8 rebounds off the bench, a welcome sign of depth for this recently depleted Celtics team. Al Horford made his first trip back to Atlanta since joining the Celtics and was greeted with a loud, collective boos from the home crowd. Horford ended the night with just 10 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds.  Jae Crowder got in on the offensive end as well, scoring 18 points.

While Boston was able to come out with a win, the final score doesn’t accurately show the dominance Boston carried throughout most of the game. The Celtics scored 30 points in the third alone and at one point had a comfortable 18-point lead. During a slow fourth quarter, it looked as though the Celtics might blow another huge lead as they had against Toronto earlier in the week. With increased rebounding on defense (34 DREB total), the Celtics went shot-for-shot with the Hawks until the final seconds. That’s when Isaiah did this:

A step-back jumper with 2.4 seconds to go. And that was all she wrote.

Atlanta’s seven-game winning streak found it’s end and the Celtics have won 12 of their last 15 games. Sole possession of third place in the East and an playing their next three games at home put Boston in a position to make their move. Toronto is a tough team and they are going to win games, all we can hope for at this point is that the Celtics do the same. Their next three games will be against the Hornets, Knicks and Trail Blazers. That’s a W, W, and W (maybe).




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