The Celtics found a team worse than the New York Knicks to beat up on, and they did just that. Boston worked off the Thanksgiving turkey and knocked off the Atlanta Hawks 114-96.
It was the 10th win of the season for Boston, a mark coming far later than most fans predicted and would have preferred. Coming off an gut-check loss to the Knicks to drop to 9-9 on Wednesday, a strong start was crucial to wipe that out.
Boston got its strong start, and then some. In the second best opening quarter of a road game in Celtics history, Brad Stevens’ crew rolled up 45 points, and led by 22 after 12 minutes.
Oddly enough, the Celtics were led by Aron Baynes’ 16 points and nine rebounds, as the big man got his third straight start. This time, Stevens went with Baynes for 23 minutes and it paid off.
The Celtics spread it out and had six in double figures. While Al Horford missed the game, Jayson Tatum scored 14 and Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward combined for 23 points off the bench.
Jeremy Lin had 19 points and 10 assists as a reserve for the 3-16 Hawks.
Boston has a good chance to keep the good feelings rolling with a back-to-back at the 8-9 Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
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