Boston breathe new life into series with Game 3 win

Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:15pm EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - Breathing life into their playoff chances, the Boston Celtics blew a 19-point third-quarter lead but held on for a wild 111-103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Presenting coach Brad Stevens with his first career NBA playoff win, the Celtics got a career-high 42 points from Isaiah Thomas and cut Atlanta's lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.

Game 4 is set for Sunday night at TD Garden.

The Celtics, who led by 20 points in the first half, saw a 19-point lead early in the third quarter evaporate.

Atlanta never led by more than one in the chippy affair, and the score was tied at 96 when the Celtics took over thanks to two old-fashioned three-point plays by Evan Turner.

The Hawks failed to score a field goal in the final 3:51.

Boston led by four when Thomas, who heard chants of "M-V-P" all night from the rowdy crowd, hit a bomb to make it 108-101 with 1:53 left.

When Thomas stole the ball and was fouled with 42.9 seconds left, he turned to the crowd and flexed his muscles before hitting his 41st and 42nd points. He left to a standing ovation with 11 seconds left.

There were three flagrant-one and two technical fouls in the game.   Continued...

 
Apr 22, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) works the ball against Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) and forward Kent Bazemore (24) during the fourth quarter in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports