Following back-to-back losses to 2 of the Jap Convention’s worst groups ultimate week, Kemba Walker presented a easy prescription for what the Celtics had to do: Play higher.
They hope their 121-109 victory over the inconsistent Atlanta Hawks on Friday evening is a get started.
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Walker scored a season-high 28 issues to assist Boston take the second one of back-to-back conferences between the groups.
“It used to be an excellent win for us. I believed we performed smartly,” Walker mentioned. “We moved the basketball. Defensively we have been in the best spots.. … Expectantly we will be able to actually simply construct off this.”
Jayson Tatum added 25 issues and 8 rebounds. Jaylen Brown and Tristan Thompson every completed with 17 issues to avenge the loss within the first assembly between the groups on Wednesday.
The Celtics have received two of 3 since equaling a season-worst stretch during which they dropped 5 out of 7.
Trae Younger led the Hawks with 31 issues. Atlanta has misplaced 5 of six.
Boston led through as many as 27 within the 3rd quarter earlier than that margin used to be trimmed to 108-99 with four:50 left within the recreation. However the Celtics were given 10 issues the remainder of the best way from Daniel Theis to near it out.
Walker sat out Wednesday’s loss as a part of an ongoing effort to control the weight on his left knee. He used to be joined at the sideline through Theis, who ignored his 2d immediately recreation with a sprained proper index finger.
Each have been again within the beginning lineup for Friday’s rematch and made their presence felt early.
Theis blocked John Collins’ dunk strive on Atlanta’s 2d ownership. Later, Walker were given unfastened for a fast-break layup, absorbed a nasty and finished a three-point play.
It helped set the tone for an energetic opening quarter during which Walker led all scorers with 8 issues on his technique to 20 within the first part.
“Kemba’s been actually just right,” Celtics trainer Brad Stevens mentioned. “We’ve struggled thru this stretch and there’s been a large number of angst and a large number of communicate. However in 3 of the 4 video games he’s performed in we’ve received. And in they all he’s performed smartly.”
The Celtics higher their lead in the second one quarter, going 13 of 22 from the sector and the usage of a 20-Five run to take a 62-37 lead past due within the part. Walker reeled off 9 immediately issues all the way through the run.
The Hawks, who were given 40 issues from Younger and shot a season-high 57% in Wednesday’s win, struggled to stay alongside of Boston’s tempo. Atlanta shot simply 14 for 43 (33%) within the opening 24 mins, together with Three of 15 from the Three-point line. It used to be most effective in a position to stick shut through going 10 for 10 from the free-throw line.
Affiliate head trainer Nate McMillan mentioned he didn’t suppose his staff replied smartly to Boston going to a lineup that used Theis and Robert Williams to give protection to the rim, making Atlanta play extra at the perimeter.
“They did just about what we did to them within the first recreation, assault the paint,” McMillan mentioned. “We by no means established lets stay this staff in entrance folks.”
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Hawks: Shot 10 of 30 from past the arc. … Trainer Lloyd Pierce ignored his 2d immediately recreation. His spouse gave start to their 2d kid on Wednesday.
Celtics: Tied a season excessive, capturing 56% from the sector (50 of 90). …Received regardless of committing 19 turnovers. … Scored 23 issues off 14 Atlanta turnovers.
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Walker is averaging 22.eight issues on 49.2% capturing (17 of 31 from Three-point line), four.Five rebounds, Three.eight assists, and 1.Five steals over his ultimate 4 video games. Boston is Three-1 in the ones video games.
Hawks: Host Denver on Sunday.
Celtics: Open three-game street shuttle at New Orleans on Sunday.