Hawks eliminate Celtics in six games

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Boston, Massachusetts: Marcus Smart No.36 of the Boston Celtics defends Kyle Korver No.26 of the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on Friday in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO

Boston, Massachusetts: Marcus Smart No.36 of the Boston Celtics defends Kyle Korver No.26 of the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on Friday in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Paul Millsap had 17 points and eight rebounds as the
Atlanta Hawks eliminated the Boston Celtics with a 104-92 win in game six of the first round playoff series on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

Al Horford and Kent Bazemore each scored 15 points, Kyle Korver had 14 points and Jeff Teague added 11 for Atlanta, which led by as many as 28 points in the second half en route to its first playoff series win over Boston in nearly 60 years.

“We played well here before but couldn’t get it done,” Horford said. “Tonight we took care of business. The shots went down for me tonight.”

Atlanta will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, which begins Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.


The Hawks lost all three meetings with the Cavaliers during the regular season. Cleveland also swept Atlanta in four straight when the two teams met in last season’s NBA playoff semifinals.

“We know it is going to be tough but we are looking forward to the matchup,” said Horford of facing the Cavs.

Isaiah Thomas had a double-double with 25 points and 10 assists to lead host Boston in front of a crowd of 18,600 at the Garden arena. Jae Crowder finished with 15 points and Marcus Smart and Jonas Jerebko each added 13 for the Celtics.

Boston shot 36 percent from the field Thursday and was held to 38 percent shooting in the series.

“We should give the Hawks credit. They are a better team. They proved it over six games,” said Boston coach Brad Stevens.

The Celtics fell behind 20-17 at the end of the first quarter and were limited to 27 percent shooting in the opening half.

Atlanta outscored the Celtics 39-26 in the third quarter and led 89-61 with 9:51 remaining, but the Celtics battled back to come within 96-86 with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth.
AFP

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