2012 NBA Playoffs: Pierce, Garnett and Bradley Lead Celtics Past Hawks

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 2, 2012

Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett.
Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are a veteran team led by their Big Three, who are looking to make another deep playoff run this year.

Not only did the Celtics lose to the Hawks in Game 1, they were already without guard Ray Allen (sore ankle) and lost starting point guard Rajon Rondo for Game 2 (one-game suspension) for arguing with—and apparently bumping—an official, leading to an ejection in the closing minutes of Game 1.

The Celtics came into Game 2 with a starting backcourt of Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus (Allen did not play) facing an Atlanta Hawks team looking to push their lead to 2-0 heading to Boston.

Kevin Garnett was able to get the better of both Jason Collins (fouled out), rookie Ivan Johnson and Josh Smith (who left the game due to a sprained knee). Garnett finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

However, at the end of the day, Paul Pierce was able to make the key shots in the fourth quarter, giving the Celtics a lead late in the game. Pierce finished the game with 36 points and 14 rebounds.

The Hawks started to shoot a lot of jump shots down the stretch, while the Celtics were able to push the tempo and hit timely baskets along with making big free-throws down the stretch.

However, one player who has been coming up huge for the Celtics has been guard Avery Bradley. Bradley has been able to be efficient, although his biggest asset has been his ability to push the tempo while also being a decent defender.

Bradley has shown that he can play more minutes, although he's still a work in progress. In Rondo’s absence, he scored 14 points and had only one turnover.

At the end of the day, the Celtics were able to buckle down and push through for the victory.