Rapid Recap: Walker, Tatum lead Cs on birdkill spree against the Hawks

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics

The Celtics flipped the script on the Hawks tonight for a much-needed 121-109 win. They were wildly energetic on the offensive end for all 48 minutes and defensively adept for more of the game than they weren’t. A promising performance in Q1  ballooned into a 20-plus margin of beatdown in Q2, highlighted by a 20-3 Boston run (which was itself capped by an 8-point Kemba Walker solo run) that was a 25-point lead at the half. We know just how fast even big leads can evaporate in the third quarters that’ve troubled this year’s Celtics so much. ATL showed life to start the second half, and made things downright frightening with a rally in the game’s final five minutes (this, unsurprisingly, was the stretch when Boston was not defensively adept). But the Cs had done enough right for long enough that their victory was secure.

A dominant and efficient Kemba Walker played an all-around excellent game (28-5-6-3-1, his season-high in points so far and a +26). Jayson Tatum wasn’t as precise a shooter and got a bit turnover-prone, but still brought home 25-8-6-1-3. Jaylen Brown (17-4-6-1) played critical defense early on, helping put the Hawks in that deep hole they never really emerged from. Even the much-maligned Tristan Thompson/Daniel Theis big duo did quite well, both together and apart, amassing lines of 17-5-3-0-1 and 14-8-4-1-3, respectively. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, a hypercharged Rob Williams dropped 12 on 75% shooting alongside 7 boards, 2 steals and 4 blocks.

Read on for highlights, analysis, jokes, fan anxiety and pure weirdness, straight from your tweets:

Thompson had a really good game but this was still funny (and is kiiiiinda true):

That did not feel like an exaggeration in the first half!

It probably didn’t help ATL that the oft-reliable John Collins (a player I’ve long thought could be a Celtic under the right circumstances) decided to play an all-time stinker tonight:


Of course, nothing can ever truly be easy for the Cs…

But despite the agita and late-game scares, it was a W. Let’s wrap it up on a laugh we can all appreciate:

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