Monday, February 19, 2018
Sports

Hawks shut down Celtics to take 2-0 lead

ATLANTA — Talk about a short memory. Kyle Korver came out shooting, and this time he couldn't miss.

The Celtics? They couldn't make anything.

Shaking off a dismal performance in the playoff opener, Korver swished four 3-pointers in the opening minutes to propel Atlanta to a stunning 21-point lead before many fans had settled into their seats Tuesday night. There wasn't much doubt after that, the Hawks cruising to an 89-72 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

"We all have pride, right?" said Korver, who went 1-of-10 on Saturday and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. "I wanted to come out and play better the second game."

As good as Korver and the Hawks were in the early going, this one will be remembered more for the Celtics' grisly start. They scored seven over the first 12 minutes, the lowest-scoring opening quarter in a playoff game since the NBA went to a shot clock in 1954.

"I don't know what it is," said Boston's Jae Crowder, looking a bit shell-shocked after scoring two on 1-of-9 shooting, "but we've got to change something."

Hawks 89, Celtics 72

BOSTON (72): Crowder 1-9 0-0 2, Johnson 6-11 2-2 14, Sullinger 2-5 0-0 4, Thomas 4-15 7-8 16, Smart 1-11 0-0 3, Hunter 0-3 0-0 0, Turner 5-12 2-2 12, Zeller 2-7 0-0 4, Rozier 4-7 0-0 10, Jerebko 3-6 0-0 7, Mickey 0-1 0-0 0, Holland 0-1 0-0 0, Young 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-88 11-12 72.

ATLANTA (89): Bazemore 2-14 0-0 5, Millsap 1-12 2-2 4, Horford 6-11 2-2 17, Teague 5-9 2-2 13, Korver 6-9 0-0 17, Muscala 1-4 2-2 4, Sefolosha 4-5 3-5 12, Schroder 3-6 2-2 8, Hardaway Jr. 1-3 1-1 3, Scott 3-9 0-0 6, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Hinrich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-82 14-16 89.

Boston 7 21 18 26— 72

Atlanta 24 19 18 28— 89

3-Point GoalsBoston 5-28 (Rozier 2-3, Jerebko 1-2, Thomas 1-6, Smart 1-6, Holland 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Hunter 0-2, Turner 0-2, Crowder 0-4), Atlanta 11-29 (Korver 5-7, Horford 3-4, Sefolosha 1-2, Teague 1-2, Bazemore 1-5, Muscala 0-1, Hardaway Jr. 0-1, Scott 0-2, Millsap 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 54 (Johnson 8), Atlanta 59 (Bazemore 9). AssistsBoston 16 (Crowder, Smart, Turner 3), Atlanta 20 (Teague 6). Total FoulsBoston 15, Atlanta 16. TechnicalsRozier. A18,972 (18,729).

CURRY STILL IFFY: Stephen Curry had an MRI exam on his injured right ankle, and the Warriors said nothing of concern came up on the test. The reigning MVP remained questionable for Thursday.

NOWITZKI AILING: Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki suffered a bone bruise in his right knee Monday and could miss Thursday's game.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Timberwolves planned to meet with Mark Jackson after interviewing Jeff Van Gundy and former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in their head coaching search. … The Suns are retaining Earl Watson as head coach. … Clippers guard Jamal Crawford won the sixth man award, becoming the first three-time winner.

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