June 21, 2018
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Terry, Pierce propel Celtics by Hawks in OT

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — Not this time.

Back on Jan. 25, the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 27 down and beat the Boston Celtics in double overtime. Friday night, the Hawks again came back, this time from 12 down with six-and-a-half minutes left, but the Celtics, getting huge play from Paul Pierce and the last five points in overtime from Jason Terry, downed the visitors 107-102 for their fifth win in a row.

The win, Boston’s ninth straight at home, was also Boston’s 14th in 18 games since losing Rajon Rondo for the season to a knee injury. The win also pulled the Celtics into a tie with the Hawks for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams are 34-27, a half-game behind fifth-place Chicago.

Pierce, who had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, scored five points in the OT, but it was his drive to the basket and kick-out to Terry that resulted in Terry hitting a 3-pointer with 1:05 left to break a 102-102 tie.

After an Atlanta turnover, Terry, who had 19 points off the bench, was fouled in the act with 9.9 seconds left and put the game on ice with two free throws. For good measure, Terry also grabbed the rebound of an Al Horford miss in the closing seconds.

Kevin Garnett had 17 points and eight rebounds as the Celtics, who eliminated Atlanta in the first round of last year’s playoffs, overcame 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds by Josh Smith. Horford delivered 22 points and 13 rebounds and Jeff Teague 26 points and nine assists.

Kyle Korver, leading the league in 3-point percentage, stung the Celtics with eight 3s the last time the teams played. In this game he was just 1-for-5 from the floor, but did hit a tying 3-pointer late in regulation.

Jeff Green had 11 points for the Celtics, including a 3-pointer from the left corner in overtime that hit the rim, bounced up and dropped through, giving Boston a one-point lead after the Hawks scored the first four points of the extra period.

The Boston bench outscored its Atlanta counterpart 46-8 as the Celtics took a 2-1 lead in the season series.

NOTES: With Zaza Pachulia (Achilles, missed third straight game) and Ivan Johnson (personal reasons) out, the Hawks gave 7-footer Johan Petro his first start of the season. Swingman DeShawn Stevenson, a veteran in his 13th NBA season, got the night off so he can guard Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson in the second game of Atlanta’s back-to-back at home Saturday. … You can count Garnett among those not surprised by his team’s play since losing Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa for the season. “People who wrote us off didn’t know really who we are,” he told the Boston Globe. “I think half the journalists out there don’t even watch basketball. They just talk. I really don’t know what it is, we really don’t care. Right now we’re focused on what we’re trying to do in here.” … Garnett, who hit his first 3-pointer of the season at Indiana Wednesday night, hit another one in the first quarter Friday. … The Celtics open another two-game trip at Oklahoma City Sunday. … Garnett, who just cracked the NBA’s all-time rebounding top 10 (the achievement was recognized during the first timeout Friday), needed 36 points to pass Jerry West for 15th place on the all-time scoring list. Pierce needed 58 points to pass Sir Charles Barley and hit the NBA’s all-time top 20. … The bigger-than-expected snowstorm wasn’t bad enough to keep the crowd size down significantly.

Bulls 89, Jazz 88: Marco Belinelli drained the decisive 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining to cap a 22-point effort as host Chicago outlasted Utah.

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nate Robinson tallied 14 points for the Bulls, who prevailed when a last-second shot by Utah’s Gordon Hayward bounced off the rim.

Al Jefferson scored 23 points in his return from an ankle injury and Marvin Williams added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, who have lost six of their last seven games.

Utah scored just seven points over the final seven-plus minutes but had an 88-86 lead after Jefferson’s basket with 51 seconds remaining. Belinelli missed a potential tying shot with 13 seconds left and Joakim Noah grabbed his game-high 13th rebound to keep the possession alive with Belinelli eventually hitting the game-winning shot from the left corner.

Boozer scored 14 first-half points as Chicago built a 55-46 halftime lead. The Jazz rallied to tie the contest at 70 in the final minute of the third quarter before the Bulls took a two-point advantage into the final stanza.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Bulls had 21 offensive rebounds with Noah collecting eight of them. … Jefferson missed the previous three games and went 10-for-16 from the field against Chicago. … Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said prior to the contest that PG Derrick Rose (knee) still isn’t ready to return despite the fact Rose has resumed full practice participation.

Heat 102, 76ers 93: LeBron James racked up 25 points and 10 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added 22 points as host Miami ran its franchise-record winning streak to 17 games.

Chris Bosh chipped in 16 points and Ray Allen scored 12 off the bench for the Heat, who haven’t lost since Feb. 1 at Indiana. Miami hosts the Pacers on Sunday.

Thaddeus Young scored 25 points and Spencer Hawes contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who dropped their 12th straight road game and have lost four straight and 11 of 12 overall. Philadelphia leading scorer Jrue Holiday dished out 13 assists but was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Philadelphia led by nine midway through the first quarter but allowed Miami to reel off a 17-4 run to end the period and take a 28-24 lead. The Sixers reclaimed the lead and took a 51-47 advantage into halftime but couldn’t hold on.

James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third period, giving Miami a 76-75 lead, and sparked a 10-0 run early in the fourth to put the Heat ahead for good.

GAME NOTEBOOK: James went 2-for-3 from 3-point range. His first basket of the night was the 1,000th 3-pointer of his career. … Miami has won 13 straight against the Sixers. … Wade recorded three steals and has at least one in 21 consecutive games, matching the longest streak of his career.

Mavericks 102, Pistons 99: O.J. Mayo hit five 3-pointers en route to 22 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored four of his 12 points down the stretch as visiting Dallas handed Detroit its fourth straight loss.

Brandan Wright had 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench and Mike James added 12 points for the Mavericks, who shot 52.6 percent from the field and pulled back within five games of .500 at 28-33.

Brandon Knight scored 21 points, Greg Monroe collected 14 and 10 rebounds and Jason Maxiell added 12 and 13 as the Pistons lost their fifth straight home game.

James and Vince Carter hit two 3-pointers each in a 12-2 run to begin the fourth quarter and give Dallas an 88-73 lead with 9:44 to play. Detroit called a timeout and then started chipping away, eventually grabbing a 97-96 lead on rookie Khris Middleton’s 3-pointer with 2:29 left.

The Mavericks turned to Nowitzki and were rewarded with jumpers on two straight possessions from the former MVP that gave them back the lead. The Pistons missed four 3-point attempts in the final 35 seconds and Darren Collison hit a pair of free throws with 3.8 seconds left to provide the final margin.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Dallas F Shawn Marion (calf) missed the game. Rookie Jae Crowder started in his place and contributed two points and five assists in 26 minutes. … The Mavericks went 11-for-22 from 3-point range while Detroit struggled to 9-of-30 from beyond the arc. … Middleton finished with a season-high 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench for the Pistons.

Thunder 116, Bobcats 94: Kevin Durant paced a balanced attack with 19 points as Oklahoma City steamrolled host Charlotte for its fourth consecutive victory.

Derek Fisher scored 13 points and Kevin Martin added 11 to lead a second unit that broke the game open with a 19-0 run to open the second quarter as the Thunder won for the seventh time in eight games.

Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka had 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Oklahoma City, which sent the Bobcats to their ninth consecutive defeat with its fifth straight lopsided victory in the series.

Gerald Henderson scored 13 of his 21 points in the first quarter and Ben Gordon had 19 points for Charlotte, which led 29-28 after the opening 12 minutes en route to its 44th loss in the last 50 games.

The Thunder, with reserves doing all the scoring, ripped off the the decisive run to start the second quarter and built a 21-point lead before the Bobcats scored the final seven points to cut the deficit to 64-50 at halftime. Oklahoma City turned on the jets again and quickly pushed the lead to 26 points midway through the third.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Fisher and Sefolosha each hit all 3-point attempts as Oklahoma City connected on 12 of 24 from behind the arc. … Charlotte suffered the worst loss in franchise history at Oklahoma City (114-69) on Nov. 26 and has lost the last five meetings by an average of 25.8 points. … Durant and Russell Westbrook scored only two points apiece in the opening quarter. Westbrook finished with 11.


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