Celtics dump Hawks, prep for Philadelphia series
Three things we learned in Game 6 as the Celtics advanced in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-2 series win:
KG the killer
The Kevin Garnett Comeback Tour roared through the TD Garden on Thursday night, as we saw vintage KG.
With Paul Pierce playing through a sprained MCL, and Ray Allen cold throughout most of the game, it was Garnett who the Celtics thrived off. He was a defensive force, grabbing 14 rebounds, blocking a game-high five shots and stealing it three times. He was just as impressive on offense, dropping 28 points including his token smooth jump shot. It was statistically one of the best all-around playoff performances by any player in the history of the game. It was only fitting that his shot in the final seconds put the C’s up for good.
There was no reason to feel comfortable as the second quarter began.
The Celtics trailed going into it, and appeared as though they didn’t understand that a loss Thursday night meant Game 7 on the road. Trailing by eight points in the opening minutes, the C’s went on a 21-3 run and took a six-point lead into the half. Credit Garnett, Pierce, and Rajon Rondo for that run that sparked the C’s and put them in control for much of the game.
See you Saturday
And — exhale.
What an ending. Give credit to the Celtics for taking Atlanta’s best punches down the stretch and pulling through in the end.
They needed help, of course — an Al Horford missed free throw — but it’s moments like those that separate the stars from the superstars. When Paul Pierce went to the line on the ensuing possession, he wouldn’t miss, and the C’s advance.
Now, they host Philadelphia in Game 1 on Saturday night. Look for Philly to run, run, run, as their athleticism and depth is their bread and butter. They hit a huge rut towards the end of their season, but seemed to right the ship against the Derrick Rose-less Bulls.