Celtics even series with 104-95 overtime win over Hawks

Celtics even series with 104-95 overtime win over Hawks

BOSTON – You had to believe that Paul Millsap would get it going offensively for Atlanta at some point.

He’s too good, too talented, too steady a player to be limited for too many games.

But the Boston Celtics’ roster proved to be deep enough to withstand Millsap’s monster game to even up the series with a 104-95 overtime win.

The series is now tied at two games apiece and shifts to Atlanta for Game 5 and then back to Boston where one of these two teams will have an opportunity to move on to the second round.

Millsap, who struggled in the first three games scoring the ball, was unstoppable most of the night and finished with a game-high 45 points.

But Boston got big shot after big shot from Jonas Jerebko in the third quarter to bring the Celtics within striking distance after having fell behind by as many as 16 points.

In the fourth quarter, it was the Marcus Smart show as he got it going both offensively (he had 20 points) in addition to doing the best job of any Celtic in limiting Millsap down the stretch.

And in overtime the Celtics got big time plays from Amir Johnson to help secure a must-win for Boston.

But the Hawks certainly gave the Celtics all they could handle.

And while Millsap was dominant, Atlanta got a couple of huge 3s from Jeff Teague in the fourth quarter with the last giving them a 92-90 lead with less than a minute to play.

Following a Celtics time-out, Isaiah Thomas drove into the lane for the game-tying score with 15 seconds to play which proved to be the final points of regulation. Thomas had a team-high 28 points along with six assists and four rebounds.

Millsap’s strong play pushed the Hawks lead to as many as 16 points in the third quarter, only for Boston to fight back with a 10-2 run of its own capped off by an Isaiah Thomas 3-pointer that cut Atlanta’s lead down to 64-56 with 5:03 to play in the third.

The Celtics would eventually regain the lead early in the fourth behind a Jonas Jerebko lay-up that made it a 74-73 game. Jerebko had a second straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”