February 8, 2020 / 3:12 AM / 10 days ago

Celtics hold off undermanned Hawks

EditorsNote: Tweaked 2nd graf, minor edits

Feb 7, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) fights for the ball with Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum led the way with 32 points as the host Boston Celtics narrowly held off the undermanned Atlanta Hawks 112-107 Friday night.

Enes Kanter had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Romeo Langford scored a career-high 16 as the Celtics won their sixth straight game and their ninth in their last 10.

John Collins had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Huerter scored 25 and Brandon Goodwin added 21 for the Hawks, who have lost three of four.

Atlanta had just nine players available after acquiring Clint Capela, Dewayne Dedmon, Skal Labissiere and Derrick Walton Jr. in separate trades this week. All four additions were out, as was Trae Young (ankle), Bruno Fernando (calf) and Cam Reddish (concussion).

For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown (ankle), Gordon Hayward (foot) and Daniel Theis (ankle) were unavailable, but Kemba Walker (knee) and Marcus Smart (quad) returned from missing three and two games, respectively.

Boston used a 33-18 third quarter to take control, but Atlanta got within three, 108-105, when Goodwin sunk a three and followed with another bucket with a minute left. The Hawks called timeout down 110-107 with 18.3 seconds to go, and Huerter and Goodwin missed chances to tie in the final 10 seconds to seal the result.

The Celtics appeared on their way to a blowout — leading 24-10 less than six minutes in — before a 5:21 Boston scoring drought allowed the Hawks to get back in it, 24-22. Atlanta would remain within two, 28-26, at period’s end.

Atlanta tied the score at 30 and took the lead shortly before a 10-0 Boston run put the hosts up 43-35. But the Hawks again wouldn’t go away, regaining the lead, 51-49, on a Collins 3-pointer at 1:24 and taking a 55-54 edge into the break.

Collins had 18 points and Huerter 15 for the Hawks. Tatum led the Celtics with 18.

The game remained back and forth before Boston forged ahead for good, 63-62, on a Tatum three at 8:04 of the third quarter. The trey kicked off a 17-4 spurt that restored a double-digit Celtics lead, and the advantage was 14, 87-73, heading into the fourth.

—Field Level Media

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