Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Wednesday, November 23rd
Celtics117Final
Hawks120
Game 2: Friday, January 6th
Hawks103Final
Celtics98
Game 3: Tuesday, January 10th
Celtics98Final
Hawks94

Celtics 117

(4-7, 0-4 away)

Hawks 120

(1-9, 1-3 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2005

Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

1 2 3 4 T
BOS 27 33 36 21117
ATL 26 35 35 24120

Top Performers

Boston: P. Pierce 33 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Atlanta: A. Harrington 34 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

On the 10th try, Atlanta wins; Celtics 0-4 on road

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks finally got their first victory.

Now for the really tough task -- back-to-back wins.

Led by Al Harrington's 34 points, Zaza Pachulia's strong work inside and the second-half defense of Josh Childress on Ricky Davis, the Hawks became the last NBA team to win a game, outlasting the Boston Celtics 120-117 Wednesday night.

The Hawks won after losing their first nine games -- the longest winless start in franchise history.

But before they could relish the win, the Hawks couldn't help but cast an eye to a much longer streak without winning consecutive games.

While finishing last in the league with 13 wins last season, the Hawks did not win back-to-back games. They play at Indiana on Friday night.

"That's my biggest goal now, two in a row," Childress said. "Last year I said if we won two in a row I was cutting my hair. I'm not saying that now."

For at least one night, the focus was on ending the winless streak.

"It's been a long time coming," Harrington said.

"It's a big relief," added Hawks coach Mike Woodson.

The Hawks' nine straight losses came against Western Conference opponents.

"We played every West team pretty good," Woodson said. "It's not like we can't compete, but those guys in the locker room had to believe they can win."

Pachulia added 19 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta.

"They deserved to win," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Honestly I thought they played harder than us. I thought Zaza Pachulia single-handedly outworked our entire team. ... I thought he was the single toughest player on the floor."

Joe Johnson scored 13 points, all in the second half, and made three free throws in the final 30 seconds to help the Hawks protect the lead.

Topping their previous scoring high for the season by 23 points, the Hawks finally won by shooting 57 percent from the field.

Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer for 33 points. Davis added 25 points but had only four points in the second half for the Celtics, who fell to 0-4 on the road. Overall, Boston has lost four of its last five games.

The Hawks outscored the Celtics 56-32 in the paint and claimed a 38-25 advantage in rebounds.

"They got pretty much every shot they wanted," Pierce said. "That's the story of our season. We're allowing too many points, we're allowing them to shoot too high a percentage, and tonight we allowed too many offensive second chances."

The Hawks led 115-110 before hitting a dry spell as Harrington and Salim Stoudamire were called for offensive fouls. The call on Stoudamire wiped away a basket on his drive with 1:05 left and the lead down to three points.

Pachulia hit two free throws with 33 seconds left for a 117-112 lead.

The Hawks, who were 27th in the league with their average of 88 points per game, reached 100 points for the first time.

Even with Johnson playing only four minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, the Hawks led 61-60 at halftime behind Harrington's 24 points.

Back-to-back baskets by Josh Smith -- one on a jumper and one on an alley-oop jam on a pass from Johnson -- gave the Hawks an 84-77 lead midway through the third period. Pierce scored 12 of the Celtics' final 19 points of the period, including five in a 10-0 run, as Boston pulled even at 96.

Boston's Dan Dickau had four 3-pointers and 14 points when he left the game with his fifth foul early in the final period. He fouled out late in the game without scoring again.

Game notes


Celtics guard Delonte West was held out after suffering a hip-pointer against Cleveland Tuesday night. ... The Hawks used their sixth different starting lineup in 10 games. Tyronn Lue and Smith moved back into the lineup, and Childress and rookie Marvin Williams returned to backup roles. ... Harrington's 24 first-half points topped his previous season high of 23 points for an entire game, and his 12 free throws made set a new career high. ... The Hawks' previous high was 97 points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BOS
ATL
Points 117 120
FGM-FGA 40-73 (.548) 40-72 (.556)
3PM-3PA 11-19 (.579) 6-8 (.750)
FTM-FTA 26-29 (.897) 34-38 (.895)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-25 14-38
Assists 22 23
Turnovers 18 19
Steals 8 6
Blocks 6 4
Fast Break Points 13 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 25 (1/0)
Largest Lead 7 7

Top Performers

Boston
Atlanta
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 33
Reb: 6
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Al Harrington Harrington
Points: 34
Reb: 6
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 1