The Boston Celtics (11-3) visited Atlanta Hawks (9-5) on Wednesday. Boston wanted to bring their winning streak to eight games. Atlanta wanted to build on Monday’s victory at Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics had 44 points off the bench in a 126-101 victory over the Hawks.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting and five rebounds. Jason Tatum scored 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting, with eight assists and seven rebounds. Tra Young scored 27 points for Atlanta 10-for-23 from the field overall and 9 assists. Dejounte Murray scored 19 points on 9-for-17 shooting and 5 assists.
Here are three notes from the Celtics’ victory over Atlanta.
The third quarter was the biggest separator
A 9-point lead before halftime left a degree of doubt as to the outcome of the match. But, fear not, Boston. Midtown’s 7-for-12 attempt in the third quarter made the fourth quarter nothing more than a formality.
The Celtics won the frame by 10 points, went into the final scene by 19 points, and that was all I wrote.
Spinning and offensive glass battles are overshadowed by 3-point shooting
All five Celtics starters committed to at least two turnovers to lead in 14 turnover performances for the night. Atlanta committed just 9 turnovers on the night. So, Atlanta was a plus-5 in ball sponsorship.
Boston collected 6 offensive rebounds on the night. Atlanta missed 14 of their errors. The Falcons were plus-8 at second chances.
So how does Boston win a game in which they caught Atlanta with 13 extra offensive plays and 3 free throws? This will be the power of the three-point shot. The Celtics shot 21-for-46 from deep, while the Falcons shot 7-for-32 from outside the arc.
It doesn’t matter how many battles you win from the “little things”. You get a throw of 3 in 14 marks, you lose 9 times out of 10.
The Celtics are really deep
Payton Pritchard scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting in 24 minutes off the bench. On paper, it’s not that big of a deal. But Pritchard was struggling to find minutes in the rotation through the first 14 games of the season. He got some minutes in this match because Marcus Smart had a sore right ankle.
The Celtics also won the bench battle by 21 points. They have a 7.1-plus point difference through 15 games — tied for the best in the NBA. Oh, and Robert Williams III has yet to hit the field.
The Celtics have no shortage of depth, and are picking up where they left off last season.
The Celtics (12-3) visit the New Orleans Pelicans (8-6) on Friday. The information submission is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. You can watch the action on NBC Sports Boston.
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