NBA playoffs

Jayson Tatum lifts Celtics to 3-1 series lead over Hawks


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Jayson Tatum lifts Celtics to 3-1 series lead over Hawks

BOSTON ACE. Jayson Tatum shows the way for the Celtics.

Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum links up with Jaylen Brown as they combine for 62 points to power the Celtics, who move on the cusp of advancing to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 31 points to lead the visiting Boston Celtics to a 129-121 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Sunday, April 23 (Monday, April 24, Manila time).

Second-seeded Boston led by 5 points after three quarters and outscored seventh-seeded Atlanta 37-34 in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead in the series. The Hawks missed 12 of their first 14 shots in the quarter.

Tatum also had 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocked shots. Brown made 12 of his 22 field-goal attempts, including three of his four shots from behind the three-point arc.

The Hawks were within 5 points with 3:36 to play, but the Celtics took control by scoring the next 7 points. Atlanta failed to get closer than 8 points the rest of the way.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 35 points and 15 assists. De’Andre Hunter was 11 of 17 from the field and added 27 points. Dejounte Murray finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Game 5 will be Tuesday in Boston.

Marcus Smart (19 points), Derrick White (18), Malcolm Brogdon (14), and Robert Williams III (13) also scored in double figures for the Celtics. Al Horford did not score, but had 11 rebounds in 34 minutes.

Boston led 35-25 after one quarter and 65-53 at halftime. Atlanta went on a 9-0 run to make it a 53-49 game with 3:07 remaining in the second quarter, but the Celtics outscored the Hawks 12-4 for the rest of the half. Atlanta shot 36.7 % from the field (18 of 49) in the opening 24 minutes.

The Hawks were within 3 points after Bogdan Bogdanovic made a three-pointer with 23.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Smart punctuated the quarter with a dunk to give Boston a 92-87 advantage entering the fourth.

The Celtics, who were outrebounded 48-29 in a Game 3 loss, had a 49-42 rebounding edge in Game 4 while outshooting the Hawks 51.7% to 43.9%. –

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