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Celtics Toy With The Hawks, Push Them To The Edge

The Celtics had lots to cheer in their romp over the Hawks.

It is not over yet for the Atlanta Hawks, but it sure does not look promising for the team that opened its first-round series against the Boston Celtics with home-court advantage. After a win to open the series, the Hawks have dropped three straight, including Sunday night’s humiliation, 101-79, in Boston.

And so, the Celtics lead the series 3-1 when just last week they were in not in a good position. To wit: They had lost Game 1 and their floor general, Rajon Rondo, was suspended for Game 2 for bumping into a referee. But the Hawks failed to take advantage of their advantages. They lost Game 2 at home against the Rondo-less Celtics, fell in Game 3 without injured Josh Smith (knee) and basically did not show up Sunday night — even though Smith returned as well as Al Horford, who missed much of the season with a pectoral injury.

The Celtics raced out to a 37-point lead in the third quarter behind forward Paul Pierce, who had 24 in 18 minutes. He did tweat a knee, but it is not thought to be serious enough to keep him out of Thursday’s Game 5. Rondo was typically awesome: 20 points and 16 assists in leading the Boston assault.




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