Celtics lose another thriller in overtime to Hawks 123-122

Celtics lose another thriller in overtime to Hawks 123-122

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The playoffs haven’t started yet, but it sure felt like a potential postseason preview in State Farm Arena on Thursday night. In what could potentially be a #1 vs. #8 matchup next month, the Celtics lost to the Hawks 123-122 in overtime.

It was the first time that head coach Joe Mazzulla had his preferred starting lineup of Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis since March 7th in a loss in Denver.

Much has been made this week of the Celtics’ clutch time performance and with a 102-101 lead with just over five minutes left, the game turned into another test of Boston’s mettle. After Atlanta took a four-point, White and Tatum answered with back-to-back threes. Bogdan Bogdanovic responded with a big triple of his own before Tatum grabbed is own offensive rebound for a putback and Brown hit a difficult mid-range pullup after two missed De’Andre Hunter free throws. Bogdanovic then hit another big 3 after an offensive rebound to tie the game. The Hawks grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in what has become a staple of Atlanta’s style; they outscored Boston 28-11 in second chance points.

And in what has been a point of contention with fans, Tatum opted to isolate with the final possession of regulation and missed a fade away jumper to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, Dejounte Murray hit three straight middies over Porzingis and another from behind the arc, en route to a career high 44 points on 18-of-44 shooting.

With the game on the line, it was Brown with the potential game-winning shot. Here’s Tom Haberstroh on why that might have been the right decision.

Unfortunately, the night belonged to Murray. With a chance to win the game, he hit this huge shot over Holiday:

Tatum finished with 31, White and Porzingis chipped in with 22 and 20 respectively, and Brown, the hometown kid, had 18 in the physical loss.

The Celtics wrap up their six-game road trip in New Orleans on Saturday and Charlotte on Monday.

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