Hawks overcome slow start to torch Celtics

Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:37pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Atlanta Hawks overcame a sluggish start with a sizzling run that put away the Boston Celtics 110-83 in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Philips Arena.

Atlanta forward Mike Scott came off the bench to score 17 points, leading five Hawks in double figures. Kent Bazemore, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap all made big shots for the Hawks, who pestered the Celtics into 19 turnovers.

Atlanta lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 to come on Thursday in Boston.

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was booed relentlessly every time he touched the ball, suffered through his worst game of the series and tweaked an ankle in the fourth.

Thomas finished with seven points on 3-of-12 shooting from the floor before limping off the court and back to the locker room with 10 minutes to play and the outcome long decided.

Throughout the back-and-forth series, the Hawks have grabbed big leads after slow starts by the Celtics. But Boston have had a knack at coming from behind, much like they did in the second half of a Game 4 win on Sunday in Boston.

However, there was no coming back from the barrage the Hawks dropped on the Celtics in the second and third quarters -- and especially not with Thomas struggling.

Midway through the second quarter, Atlanta was ice cold and had made only 6 of 34 shots from the field. But the Celtics, in part because of turnover issues and Thomas' early scoring woes, did not take full advantage. Their biggest lead was 29-19 before the Hawks started to heat up.

Bazemore hit three nothing-but-net 3-pointers, fueling a 28-10 Atlanta run to close the half.   Continued...

Apr 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) and guard Dennis Schroder (17) react against the Boston Celtics in the third quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports