Despite the Celtics holding a 27-point lead in the second quarter, Boston would lose to the Atlanta Hawks, 123-111, in double-overtime. This now becomes the Celtics sixth straight loss, which comes on the heels of a six game winning streak.
Rajon Rondo’s fifth triple-double of the season, 16 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, was not enough to overcome Kyle Korver’s hot shooting. Korver hit eight 3-pointers in the game, an Atlanta Hawks single game record.
Boston had multiple chances to win the game. Rondo missed on a floater with seconds left in regulation that would have put Boston up two. Paul Pierce finished with 12 points but was blocked on what would have been the game winning shot at the end of the first overtime.
Boston’s next chance to snap this skid will come on Sunday when they take on the defending champion, Miami Heat. It will mark Ray Allen’s first return to Boston since leaving in the offseason.
Rajon Rondo: B+
Rondo had a triple-double and carried the Celtics for several stretches of the game. Normally it’s hard to give someone who puts up a triple-double anything less than an A. He was not A worthy though. The All-Star point guard only made eight of his 18 shots, including his failure to win the game at the end of regulation. He had six turnovers, and to make matters worse, Boston was -20 with him on the court.
Avery Bradley: B-
Bradley scored 14 points, but was never a major factor defensively. With the Celtics struggling to contain Korver in the second half, it’s questionable as to why Bradley did not matchup against him. Most of Bradley’s shots were from the perimeter. The next step for him will be to develop the ability to attack off the dribble.
Paul Pierce: F
Pierce was awful, and that is being kind. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts, and consistently got beat on defense. The Celtics were a mind blowing -30 with him on the court. Pierce had the chance to close it out at the end of the first overtime, but was blocked by Josh Smith. This is not the type of performance you expect from the captain.
Brandon Bass: F
It becomes more questionable by the game as to why Bass continues to start. He was scoreless today, and even missed a wide-open dunk attempt. He’s not even contributing on the glass, as he only had two rebounds in 19 minutes of play. With his jump shot not falling, Bass has become a liability on the offensive end.
Kevin Garnett: B+
Garnett scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but fouled out early in the second overtime. Boston was never able to recover once Garnett left the game. He was most of the Celtics offense in the first overtime, but his defense proved most critical. As soon as he fouled out, Atlanta immediately picked on his replacement, Jared Sullinger, who couldn’t stop Al Horford. This game was lost the second Garnett picked up his sixth foul.
Jeff Green: A-
Green had one of his best games of the season. He was in attack mode early on, and totaled 17 points for the game. Green was also active defensively, grabbing six rebounds to help Boston on the glass. It’s hard to ask for much more out of Green.
Jared Sullinger: D
Sullinger did grab five rebounds, but never really made his presence felt in the game, missing all three of his shots. He could not handle Horford in the post once he came in for Garnett, picking up three quick fouls. It looks like it was one of those learning experiences for the rookie tonight.
Jason Terry: A-
Terry was the Celtics most efficient player. He scored 12 points on only six shots. He knocked down three shots from behind the arc, including several timely ones to momentarily halt the Hawks comeback in the fourth quarter. Boston needs to see more of these performances from the often inconsistent Terry.
Courtney Lee: A
Following along with Terry and Green, Lee was solid off the bench. He scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists. He also made several great defensive plays. Lee has been another struggling to find consistency, but games like this could prove the turning point.