NBA playoffs

Jayson Tatum, Celtics cruise past Hawks, lead series 2-0


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Jayson Tatum, Celtics cruise past Hawks, lead series 2-0

UNSTOPPABLE. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives the ball to the basket against Hawks center Clint Capela.

David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics come out in full control against the Hawks for a 2-0 series edge as Jayson Tatum leads five Boston stalwarts in double figures

Jayson Tatum led five scorers in double figures with 29 points as the Boston Celtics seized a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with a 119-106 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, April 18 (Wednesday, April 19, Manila time).

Tatum added 10 rebounds and 6 assists to lead the Boston offense. Derrick White added 26 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter. 

Jaylen Brown (18 points), Marcus Smart (14), and Malcolm Brogdon (13) also scored in double figures for the Celtics.

After Atlanta took an 11-point lead thanks to De’Andre Hunter’s three-pointer with 5:42 left in the first quarter, Boston outscored the Hawks 50-27 for the remainder of the first half and, for the most part, cruised from there.

Dejounte Murray led Atlanta with 29 points on seven three-pointers. Trae Young scored 24 points, while Hunter supplied 18 points and 12 boards. 

The Hawks were just 16-of-48 from three-point range.

Boston extended a 61-49 halftime lead, making it 72-55 with an Al Horford layup at 8:58 of the third quarter. Nearly three minutes later, the Celtics went up by 20.

Murray scored 13 points in the third to pull Atlanta within 90-81 by the end of the period.

In the fourth, White continued his strong series with a floater, a three-pointer and a layup, the last bringing Boston over the century mark with 7:29 left.

A Smart triple and Tatum dunk with 2:16 remaining capped a 15-2 run that put an exclamation point on the win.

Atlanta matched its five three-pointers from Saturday in the first quarter alone, grabbing a 15-7 lead with the help of three treys in the game’s first three minutes.

Boston led 28-25 at the end of the first quarter after a late 17-3 run. Brogdon’s half-court buzzer-beater gave Boston the three-point edge heading into the second.

A Bogdan Bogdanovic runner brought the visitors within four with 6:21 left before halftime, but the Celtics responded with a 10-2 spurt that Tatum capped with a layup. 

A Brogdon steal and Tatum layup made it a 15-point game in the final minute, but Murray pulled up and hit a three-pointer to end the half. –

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