March 16, 2019 / 7:49 PM / 6 months ago

Irving, Brown help Celtics hold off Hawks

EditorsNote: Update 2: Multiple corrections in text, adds Celtics injuries

Mar 16, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) goes up for a shot as Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) looks on during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 23, with two key baskets in a fourth-quarter stretch that allowed the Boston Celtics to defeat the visiting Atlanta Hawks 129-120 on Saturday.

The Hawks trailed 105-92 entering the fourth quarter but battled back and tied the game 112-112 on a pair of Kent Bazemore free throws with 5:53 left. But Brown, who grew up in suburban Atlanta, answered with a 3-pointer and finished a 9-0 run with a jumper to help the Celtics preserve the win.

Brown came off the bench to shoot 8-for-14 from the field, including three 3-pointers.

It was the second straight win for Boston and broke Atlanta’s two-game winning streak. Boston has won five of its last six.

The victory came at a cost for the Celtics as Gordon Hayward (strained neck) and Al Horford (sore knee) each sustained injuries. Horford exited in the third quarter after banging knees, but he returned in the fourth. Hayward was hurt in the first half and didn’t return.

Irving fell just short of his second straight triple-double with 11 rebounds and nine assists along with his 30 points. Boston also got 19 points — four in the crucial fourth-quarter run — and 11 rebounds from Marcus Morris while Jayson Tatum had 18 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Smart scored 16 points.

Atlanta was led by Trae Young, who had 26 points, including 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers, and John Collins, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Taurean Prince added 17 points, and Vince Carter scored 16.

Dewayne Dedmon had 13 rebounds but didn’t score any of his five points until the fourth quarter.

The Celtics won their first two meetings against the Atlanta Hawks by producing a big first quarter. They did it again Saturday, when they scored 43 in the first and led 74-62 at halftime.

The Hawks and Celtics were even at 30-30 in the first quarter before the Celtics went on a 13-6 run to close to quarter with a 43-36 advantage. Brown, Terry Rozier and Irving each hit a 3-pointer during the scoring stretch.

Atlanta plays again Sunday at Orlando. Boston plays again Monday when it hosts Denver.

—Field Level Media

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