USA TODAY Sports
33 - 9 is an amazing quarter. I don't know if it saved the season, but it sure doesn't hurt.
If you are still basking in the glow of last night's 3rd quarter, you aren't alone. Scribes all over are declaring last night's game (and in particular that 3rd quarter) as a potential season altering game.
There's a chance we'll look back at season's end and the Celtics' come-from-behind triumph over the Hawks on Saturday night in Atlanta will be just another win. But, at least for the moment, you can't help but suspect this one will mean a little more.
The Celtic's dominant third quarter performance against the Atlanta Hawks not only propelled them to a 89-81 comeback win, but may have been just what this team needed to jumpstart their season.
In a season of fits and starts and forgettable quarters, a dominating quarter certainly doesn't hurt. Of course, only time will tell what it means to the rest of the season. Christmas day was a great beginning to end game and Friday night's emphatic streak ending win over the Pacers was very nice as well. But there's something about coming from 15 down to win against all odds that has an extra aura about it.
You'll remember that the Celtics came from way behind to beat the Lakers in the finals and used that momentum to bring home a banner. Not coincidentally it was Paul Pierce (and team defense) leading that charge as well.
It seems that Pierce can't carry the team offensively every game, but there are days when he can simply reach back and will this team to a win. More important, however, is the way the team stepped up as a unit defensively and locked the Hawks completely down. More of that kind of defense across the whole game (and for the rest of the season) will ease the scoring load on everyone.
So did that 3rd quarter save the season? I don't know, but it won't hurt and it felt great, so I'll take it. Next up is the Knicks. Let's make it 3 in a row.