Jayson Tatum anticipated what was going to happen and waited for his opportunity.
When fewer than three minutes were left in the game, with his side ahead by ten points, he hawked Atlanta’s Trae Young as he dribbled on the right wing and attempted to lure Tatum into a screen.
Nevertheless, the All-Star player for the Celtics shrugged it off and reached out to block Young’s effort at a step-back 3-pointer. Derrick White ran over to the lost ball, picked it up, and threw it to Tatum, who dunked it with one hand.
On Tuesday night, Boston Celtics defeated Atlanta 119-106 to establish a commanding 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series. The play that halted the clinching late run was Tatum’s penultimate basket of the game and the final basket for Boston.
Tatum concluded the game with 29 points and ten rebounds, but White was the one who Tatum acknowledged was the star of the show. The defender-minded guard contributed all over the floor, scoring 26 points while grabbing seven boards and making three blocks.
“When D-White is establishing himself and being active and not being passive, we are a lot more dynamic team,” Tatum stated. Being aggressive, making the perfect play, attacking the rim, and not always waiting makes us a better team. In these previous two games, we played (White), and we won.
Jaylen Brown contributed 18 points as an assist. In the points scored in the paint, Boston dominated Atlanta 64-40. Game 3 will be played on Friday night in Atlanta.
“(Tatum and Brown) are the subjects of great interest. White said that it just creates more opportunities for him on the floor. When the chance presents itself, all I can do is seize it and continue doing what I normally do.
The Hawks were led in scoring by Dejounte Murray with his 29 points. Young scored 24, although he only made 9 of 22 field goal attempts and 2 of 8 three-point attempts. Moreover, he committed five turnovers, increasing his total for the series to eleven.
Young said, “I am capable of becoming better.” “I wasn’t able to hit the ball very well at all. Sometimes, while driving, the ball would slip out of my hands and go out of bounds. But I think I’ll do better when I’m at home.”
After falling by a score of 20, the Hawks brought the deficit down to single digits late in the third quarter.
Young walked to the bench with Atlanta behind 74-57 and sat out the last 7 minutes and 7 seconds of the quarter. He then went to the locker room for a few moments.
His teammates stepped up in his absence and outscored the Celtics by a margin of 24-16 to bring the score to 90-81 heading into the fourth quarter.
As Young returned to start the fourth and final session, he scored four consecutive points, bringing the score to 104-95 with just over five minutes left to play.
But the Celtics came back with a 15-2 run, capped off by a 3-pointer and a slam from Jayson Tatum, to bring the score back up to 119-97 with 2:16 remaining to play.
Although the Hawks had a superior shooting touch on Tuesday, the Celtics cranked their enthusiasm up a notch, consistently outhustling them to loose balls and beating them down the court in transition. While the Hawks had a better shooting touch, the Celtics won.
One prominent illustration of this occurred in the second quarter when Brown wrested control of the ball away from De’Andre Hunter as he sped past.
Malcolm Brogdon could wrangle it and then dump it in front of a running Brown. Brown had already separated himself from Young and Dejounte Murray as they became stuck ball-watching.
Brown said that during the year, his team had focused mostly on the defensive side of the ball. “We play both sides of the ball at a high level, and we do it consistently. There are instances when people don’t even notice it. But when it counts, our defense will be the most important factor in the playoffs.
With Reggie Lewis, White is just the second guard in Celtics history to record at least 25 points and three or more blocks in a playoff game. White joined Lewis in this exclusive club.
Hawks: After gaining a 22-11 lead in the first quarter, the Hawks were outscored 29-10 during the following 10 minutes of game action, committing six turnovers and shooting 4 of 16 from the floor.
The Celtics had a 61-49 lead going into the half. At the 5:01 mark of the second quarter, Williams had his first missed putback of the series. He had a perfect score of ten out of ten up to that moment. dominated the Hawks in the first quarter scoring in the paint by a score of 18-6.