Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Boston Celtics look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when they take on the Atlanta Hawks for game four tonight. The Celtics are -5.5 point favorites over the Hawks with an over/under point total of 172.
48 minutes wasn’t enough to split these teams in game three, but when it came to overtime it was the Celtics who came out on top and took the game by 90-84. Paul Pierce once again led the way with 21 points, but made just three of 12 shots, while Kevin Garnett was efficient with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Even Ray Allen made an appearance and scored 13 points off the bench, but the player of the night was Rajon Rondo, who finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. On a side note, Avery Bradley left the game after aggravating a left shoulder injury and is considered as questionable for game four.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have had no luck at all when it comes to injuries, as they’ve lost Josh Smith, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia and had to fill in with Jason Collins and Erick Dampier. With all that scoring potential watching from the sidelines, Joe Johnson took the burden of the scoring and had a game-high 29 points on 11 of 28 shooting, while Jeff Teague contributed 23 points of his own. Tracy McGrady was the only other Hawks player to finish in double digits, scoring 12 points and nine rebounds, but he looked very limited after he sprained his ankle just before halftime.
Needless to say, this game has such a huge bearing on the series and after an overtime victory, all the momentum is firmly with the Celtics now. The Hawks played very well to force overtime in game three, but I think this is just about the end of the road for them, so I’m going with the Celtics to hammer one nail in the coffin tonight.
Boston Celtics -5.5 Atlanta Hawks