In biology, they might call this one an anomaly. An outlier. A statistical fluke.
How else do you explain a game in which the Celtics built a 27-point lead, outscored their opponents 48-32 in the paint and 23-9 on the fast break, and outrebounded them by 10? The Celtics haven’t been in many of these kinds of games this season, and when they have, they’ve been on the wrong end of a lopsided score.
Maybe it was the St. Patrick’s Day uniforms.
Rajon Rondo was the catalyst for the Celtics all game. Rondo sparked Boston’s offense with 13 points and 10 assists in 34 minutes of play. The speedy point guard also harassed Atlanta’s Anthony Johnson on the defensive end and made it difficult for the Hawks to get into their offense.
The Celtics were also well-represented in the paint. Boston outscored Atlanta 48-32 in the paint on the backs of Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson. Perkins had one of his best games in recent memory, pulling in a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jefferson was a cool 10-of-15 from the floor for 23 points. He missed a double-double by one rebound.
Paul Pierce had 17 points, five assists, and four rebounds for the Celtics.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 19 points, but only six of them came in the second half. Atlanta scored just 19 points in a third quarter that saw the Celtics blow the game wide open. They made one more field goal in the period (six) than they committed turnovers (five).
We’ll be back in a bit with reaction from both locker rooms.