The Hawks went into the night riding a seven game winning streak. There was a lot of build up coming into the game for two reasons. The first is the return of Al Horford, who received a dedication video before the start of the game, thanking him for his time in Atlanta and all he’s done for the organization. He was received with a standing ovation. Then the game happened.
The second reason for the build up was because of the organic creation of a very tense rivalry. Atlanta has seen Boston at some point in the playoffs (either first round or later) almost every time since they started their post-season streak eight or nine years ago. Add that with the return of Al Horford and playoff placement on the line and you have yourself a ball game.
This game did not disappoint either. The Hawks went down by as many as 20 before they mounted their comeback (with three of their starters on the bench no less).
Veteran Paul Millsap once again came to the rescue and led the team in points with 23. Tim Hardaway Jr. also had 23 points and played a huge part in the Hawks comeback.
Once the game got up and going, the story of the night was Isaiah Thomas. His performance and rivalry with Dennis Schroder completely overshadowed the return of Horford. The young guard led the Celtics 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. His biggest moment of the night was hitting the game winner at the last second to stave off the Hawks’ comeback.
The Hawks will look to regroup and get it together for Sunday when they face the Milwaukee Bucks.