The Atlanta Hawks flew into TD Garden to wrap up 2013 against the plucky Boston Celtics on Dec. 31, and in a contest marked by sustained scoring runs for both teams, the Hawks emerged with a tight 92-91 victory.
The Hawks are still adjusting to the reality that Al Horford will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, but watching Paul Millsap against Boston, you never would have known Atlanta was missing a key player. Millsap went for a season-high on 34 points, and he added on 15 boards plus a pair of steals and blocks.
The Celtics were led by their bench scoring as they got 21 points from Kelly Olynyk and 18 from Kris Humphries. Despite outscoring the ATL bench 56-16 and and 28-10 on the fast break, the C's could not overcome a 15-8 deficit in offensive rebounding as the Hawks thrived on second-chance points.
After a cagey first quarter, the Celtics smothered the Hawks to start the second and led by 18 points with under four minutes left in the first half. However, the let Atlanta climb back into the game and Boston's halftime lead was only 44-39.
The C's led 83-72 before Kyle Korver hit his first trey of the game with 6:10 left—giving him a triple in 101 straight contests—and converted the four-point play after the foul by Gerald Wallace. That started a 19-9 run for Atlanta to close the game and 2013 with a victory.
Jordan Crawford had a chance to win it for Boston, but his contested step-back J clanged off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Hawks start the new year at 18-14 while the Celtics dip to 13-18.