Boston’s winning streak lives on! The Celtics haven’t lost a game in a month after dropping their first two games, and who knows when this thing will end when looking at their upcoming schedule.
Coming off a gutsy, emotional win against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday the Celtics ran into a red-hot shooting Hawks squad. They sprinted to an 18-0 run in the first quarter, putting Boston in a familiar early double-digit hole.
Jaylen Brown came up with another strong performance after a 22-point, seven rebound showing against the Warriors putting in 27 points on 10-13 shooting. Kyrie Irving also had a very efficient night on the offensive end, scoring 30 points and only missing two shots in 30 minutes of playing time.
The Celtics’ defense was struggling early with preventing Atlanta’s dribble drive. The Hawks were getting good looks at the rim, and were hitting everything on kick-outs in the first quarter. Boston had to deal with a 65% shooting and a 13-point first quarter deficit, but got some production from its second unit in the second quarter to get back into the game before halftime.
Marcus Morris gave the Celtics’ offense the boost it needed in the second, scoring 10 points on a number of deep-two’s. Marcus Smart also found his range from three, hitting two of his five attempts after having a completely awful stretch from deep over the past few games.
The first half had little flow to it thanks to the referees calling an unprecedented amount of three second violations for both teams, both offensive and defensive. The Celtics trailed by as much as 16 in the first half with shaky play on both ends, but managed to cut the Hawks lead to six by halftime 50-44.
The start of the second half was a high scoring affair, and the Celtics were able to regain the lead on the heels of Brown and two vicious slams from Jayson Tatum.
EVERYONE GET ON THE JAYSON TATUM TRAIN WE'RE FLYING TO THE MOOOON pic.twitter.com/jBhMtG7qO2— John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) November 19, 2017
In a physical fourth quarter, Boston’s core group were able to get the ball moving on offense, and force the Hawks into difficult shots on the other end. Irving and Brown both put in big shots down the stretch, and Smart made a few of his ‘Winning Plays” to close the door on Atlanta and extend the streak.
It may not always be pretty, but the Celtics continue to find ways to pull out a win. The 15-2 start ties the franchises best start ever, and this year’s Boston team will have a chance to break that record on Monday against the lowly Dallas Mavericks.