Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Friday, November 13th
Hawks97Final
Celtics86
Game 2: Friday, January 8th
Celtics85Final
Hawks93
Game 3: Monday, January 11th
Hawks102Final
Celtics96
Game 4: Friday, January 29th
Celtics91Final
Hawks100

Hawks 102

(24-13, 10-9 away)

Celtics 96

(26-10, 11-5 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:30 PM ET, January 11, 2010

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 21 25 31 25102
    BOS 31 24 25 1696

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: J. Johnson 36 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

    Boston: R. Rondo 26 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hawks continue to befuddle Celtics as Johnson's sharpshooting keys win

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- Three quick technical fouls by the Boston coaching staff added up to a third straight victory for Atlanta over the Celtics.

    Hours after scratching Rasheed Wallace from the lineup, Celtics coach Doc Rivers did a fair impersonation of the volatile forward by drawing two quick technicals and an early exit. A third "T" -- on soft-spoken assistant Armond Hill -- handed the Hawks a four-point play and helped whittle away a 10-point deficit in a 102-96 victory Monday night.

    Easy as A, B, C

    The Atlanta Hawks have had the Celtics' number this season. That continued with a win on Monday.

    Hawks Celtics
    Wins 3 0
    PPG 97.3 89.0
    Turnovers PG 11.7 15.3
    Off Reb. PG 11.7 6.0

    "I think it started with the technicals," said Jamal Crawford, who made the three free foul shots on his way to 17 points in the game. "We got some free throws and easy points. Seeing the ball go through the basket gives you confidence."

    The Celtics have lost only 10 games all season and three have been to Atlanta, which had lost seven straight to Boston coming into the season.

    "In order to get to where we're trying to go in this league, we've got to go through Orlando, Boston and Cleveland," said Joe Johnson, who scored 36 points, including seven straight to erase a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit. "We've been pretty successful against Boston this year, but we've just got to try to get some wins down the stretch."

    Forsberg: Celts Lose Cool

    After coach Doc Rivers' outburst, the Celtics lost control of the Hawks, writes ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg. Story

    Al Horford had nine points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, and Crawford scored the last six of the game. Mike Bibby had just five points and two assists in 18 minutes for the Hawks.

    Rajon Rondo had 26 points and seven assists for Boston.

    Boston led by 14 points early in the second quarter and had a 67-57 lead with 6:16 left in the third when Glen Davis was called for a flagrant foul for riding Marvin Williams away from the basket on a fast break. Rivers was irate, getting the second technical just a few seconds after the first when he didn't stop yelling at referee Bennett Salvatore.

    Rivers was automatically ejected.

    "That's always on me. I don't think I should ever get thrown out," said Rivers, who was last ejected on March 17 against Chicago. "I just hate getting techs. I've really worked this year at reeling myself in, because I thought we had to with the guys we have."

    Davis denied fouling Williams on purpose.

    "I'm a big guy and it felt like I didn't intentionally do it," he said. "When I was coming down, I tried to hold him from falling. But the refs made a decision and I can't get mad and upset."

    Rivers was barely off the bench when Hill was also given a "T." Crawford made three free throws, then Williams hit one of two for the original foul to cut the deficit to six points.

    Crawford hit a 3-pointer to make it 75-75 in the final minute of the third quarter -- the first tie since the first quarter. Boston opened an 84-77 lead, but Johnson hit a 3-pointer followed by a fastbreak layup and, after the teams traded a few misses, made another basket to tie it with 7:26 left.

    It was 96-96 after a three-point play by Davis with 2:33 left before Crawford was fouled attempting a 3-pointer; he hit two of three foul shots. Boston's Ray Allen missed a 3-pointer, then Crawford drove to the basket to make it 100-96. Allen missed a foul-line jumper before Crawford hit a long 2-pointer to clinch it.

    Wallace, the most ejected player in the NBA since 1992, was a late scratch with a sore left forefoot. His loss was even more damaging because he had been starting for Kevin Garnett since he hyperextended his right knee on Dec. 28.

    Rivers said Monday that Wallace could be out a week. Garnett could be back in 10 days.

    "He got to start working out today for the first time," Rivers said. "Now it's just a conditioning thing. We want to make sure he gets strong and back in shape because he literally hasn't done anything. We figure 10 days to two weeks, that's what it'll take."

    Game notes


    Rivers, who played for the Hawks from 1983-91, is still their all-time leader in assists. ... Brian Scalabrine hit consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter to help Boston open a 13-point lead. ... Kendrick Perkins had 11 points and nine rebounds for Boston. ... Asked if Atlanta was in the Celtics' heads, Davis said, "Next question."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ATL
    BOS
    Points 102 96
    FGM-FGA 35-77 (.455) 36-65 (.554)
    3PM-3PA 9-16 (.563) 10-20 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 23-33 (.697) 14-18 (.778)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-30 3-35
    Assists 18 19
    Turnovers 7 19
    Steals 7 2
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 15 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (1/1) 21 (4/1)
    Largest Lead 6 14

    Top Performers

    Atlanta
    Boston
    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 36
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Rajon Rondo Rondo
    Points: 26
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0