Atlanta Hawks defeat Boston Celtics, 109-101


The Atlanta Hawks take advantage of 22 Boston Celtic turnovers and end up defeating the Boston Celtics in the TD Garden Friday night, 109-101.

The Atlanta Hawks get their 16th win of the 2015-16 NBA season by knocking off the Boston Celtics in the TD Garden Friday night, 109-101. Atlanta needed this win as a loss on the road to Boston would have put the Hawks even further out of the playoff picture in the tight Eastern Conference.

The Atlanta Hawks did three things well to win a big conference game on the road: 1. Score early and often in the paint. 2. Stay competitive on the glass. 3. Take over in the fourth quarter.

-= Related: Atlanta Hawks play rival Celtics in Boston =-

Atlanta had three players step up big in Friday night’s game. Al Horford was a consistent force throughout. He had 21 points on 10-19 shooting and corralled a game-high 10 rebounds in his double-double. It’s great to see Al play physical on the glass and attack the point on offense.

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Paul Millsap was a non-factor in the first three quarters due to early foul trouble, but was the go-to player tonight in the decisive fourth quarter. Millsap had 15 of his 20 points tonight in the fourth quarter. When Boston went small in the final six minutes, that was when Paul Millsap took over. Jae Crowder had no answer for the all-around solid offensive game of Paul Millsap. Millsap had eight assists and four rebounds as well Friday night.

Though Jeff Teague struggled shooting the basketball against Isaiah Thomas Friday night, 1-6 shooting, Dennis Schroder had a team-high 22 points off the bench. Schroder played the entire fourth quarter for the Atlanta Hawks as Teague disappeared on the Atlanta bench, after supposedly rolling his ankle. . Dennis had that hot hand and that contributed to his game-high plus/minus of +20. Schroder also had five assists and four steals.

Atlanta plays its best basketball when Al Horford plays an inside-out game on both ends of the floor and when Dennis Schroder limits his turnovers. Schroder did not turn the basketball over tonight and Horford had three of the Atlanta Hawks’ four blocks.

It was great to see the Atlanta Hawks will themselves to shooting respectably from the floor. Atlanta shot 46.6% in the game, but most of the damage can in the paint and in the fourth quarter. The Hawks did not have it from three-point land (20.0%) or a great feel at the free throw line (79.3%).

Next: Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Dec. 17

The Atlanta Hawks will have Saturday off before playing a Southeast division rival in the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center Sunday evening. Tipoff in the Atlanta Hawks’ next game will come at 6:00 PM ET. It was a great effort tonight for the Atlanta Hawks and one of the better games the team has played in weeks. Let’s Go Hawks!