Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON - The one thing you don't want to give a good team is a second chance.

The Hawks are a well-known machine around the NBA. They can - and do - score from all over. So when they do actually miss, it would be a good idea to scoop that ball up before it's dished back out to a wide-open Kyle Korver for three.

You already know how that's going to end.

Luckily, the Celtics got the message beforehand.

In what's been a bit of a disappointing showing on the glass leading up to Friday night, the Celtics were cleaning up on the boards like they haven't before.

All in all they ripped down 50 rebounds Friday night, 15 more than the Hawks. And that's with Boston taking 27 more shots, too.

But just as the C's tried to help themselves on the defensive glass, they did serious damage on the offensive glass, ripping down 17 offensive rebounds that help get them their 24 second-chance points.

Jae Crowder tied a career-high with six offensive boards, which he translated into four second-chance points.

Jared Sullinger had a team-high 10 rebounds en route to his third straight double-double. This came after a game in which he wasn't happy with the team's overall rebounding efforts.

"We played hard. We wanted the ball more than them," Sullinger said. "There’s a lot of plays that we were on the ground. We just played extremely hard and we did all the right things to give us the lead.

"Just it’s effort. It’s effort. We had the attitude, the effort to go after the rebounds and understand that if we get our hands on them we’re gonna keep them."

The Hawks aren't a good rebounding team. They came into the game ranked 29th in the NBA in rebounds, with 40.8 per game. They were held to 35 against the Celtics.

"I think, No. 1 is their bigs are really good rebounders but they're generally a smaller team and their rebounding numbers would suggest that it's a game that we have to be able to rebound well to win," Stevens said.

The Hawks scored just seven second-chance points against the Celtics, a big reason Boston pulled off the victory.

"We were talking about we always defend pretty well but we give them one or two opportunities by not rebounding," Evan Turner said, "so we made an emphasis on rebounding and getting aggressive on the glass and getting out and running.

"I just think we have to gang rebound. It’s just toughness, ripping the ball down and keeping it."

But will it last? Perhaps not for long. Boston will head to Oklahoma City to play a Thunder team that currently leads the NBA in rebounding with a whopping 50.8 per game. So basically, what the Celtics finally did well once the Thunder have been averaging all season. But the Celtics hope to build off their Friday performance.

"We now have one game in a row that we've rebounded well," Stevens quipped. "I think offensively it's just about who's in the game. I think Sully is a great rebounder and I think David Lee is a really good offensive rebounder. Those guys are going to get offensive rebounds because they go hard. Jonas [Jerebko] had a couple of big plays and Jae [Crowder] had a couple of big tip-outs, so that was good. We had to play really well to win which was very concerning the way we were scoring in the first half, but we played really well in every other area. And then when we started scoring, it was good. It was a good win for our team."