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Atlanta at Boston

Johnson surges for 36 to help Hawks beat Celtics

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Three quick technical fouls by the Boston coaching staff added up to a third straight victory for Atlanta over the Celtics.

Hours after scratching Rasheed Wallace from the lineup, Celtics coach Doc Rivers did a fair impersonation of the volatile forward by drawing two quick technicals and an early exit. A third "T" -- on soft-spoken assistant Armond Hill -- handed the Hawks a four-point play and helped whittle away a 10-point deficit in a 102-96 victory Monday night.

"I think it started with the technicals," said Jamal Crawford, who made the three free foul shots on his way to 17 points in the game. "We got some free throws and easy points. Seeing the ball go through the basket gives you confidence."

The Celtics have lost only 10 games all season and three have been to Atlanta, which had lost seven straight to Boston coming into the season.

 Celtics coach Rivers ejected from game

"In order to get to where we're trying to go in this league, we've got to go through Orlando, Boston and Cleveland," said Joe Johnson, who scored 36 points, including seven straight to erase a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit. "We've been pretty successful against Boston this year, but we've just got to try to get some wins down the stretch."

Al Horford had nine points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, and Crawford scored the last six of the game. Mike Bibby had just five points and two assists in 18 minutes for the Hawks.

Rajon Rondo had 26 points and seven assists for Boston.

Boston led by 14 points early in the second quarter and had a 67-57 lead with 6:16 left in the third when Glen "Big Baby" Davis was called for a flagrant foul for riding Marvin Williams away from the basket on a fast break. Rivers was irate, getting the second technical just a few seconds after the first when he didn't stop yelling at referee Bennett Salvatore.

Rivers was automatically ejected.

"That's always on me. I don't think I should ever get thrown out," said Rivers, who was last ejected on March 17 against Chicago. "I just hate getting techs. I've really worked this year at reeling myself in, because I thought we had to with the guys we have."

Davis denied fouling Williams on purpose.

"I'm a big guy and it felt like I didn't intentionally do it," he said. "When I was coming down, I tried to hold him from falling. But the refs made a decision and I can't get mad and upset."

Rivers was barely off the bench when Hill was also given a "T." Crawford made three free throws, then Williams hit one of two for the original foul to cut the deficit to six points.

Crawford hit a 3-pointer to make it 75-75 in the final minute of the third quarter -- the first tie since the first quarter. Boston opened an 84-77 lead, but Johnson hit a 3-pointer followed by a fastbreak layup and, after the teams traded a few misses, made another basket to tie it with 7:26 left.

It was 96-96 after a three-point play by Davis with 2:33 left before Crawford was fouled attempting a 3-pointer; he hit two of three foul shots. Boston's Ray Allen missed a 3-pointer, then Crawford drove to the basket to make it 100-96. Allen missed a foul-line jumper before Crawford hit a long 2-pointer to clinch it.

Wallace, the most ejected player in the NBA since 1992, was a late scratch with a sore left forefoot. His loss was even more damaging because he had been starting for Kevin Garnett since he hyperextended his right knee on Dec. 28.

Rivers said Monday that Wallace could be out a week. Garnett could be back in 10 days.

"He got to start working out today for the first time," Rivers said. "Now it's just a conditioning thing. We want to make sure he gets strong and back in shape because he literally hasn't done anything. We figure 10 days to two weeks, that's what it'll take."

Notes

  • Rivers, who played for the Hawks from 1983-91, is still their all-time leader in assists.
  • Brian Scalabrine hit consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter to help Boston open a 13-point lead.
  • Kendrick Perkins had 11 points and nine rebounds for Boston.
  • Asked if Atlanta was in the Celtics' heads, Davis said, "Next question."
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Joe Johnson deserves a pat on the back as he helps the Hawks move to 3-0 against the C's this season.  (AP)
Joe Johnson deserves a pat on the back as he helps the Hawks move to 3-0 against the C's this season. (AP)

Scoreboard
Atlanta (24-13) «21253125102
Boston (26-10) 3124251696
ATL:J. Johnson 36 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 12 Reb
ATL:J. Crawford 6 Ast
BOS:R. Rondo 26 Pts
BOS:K. Perkins 9 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 7 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonAtlanta

R. Rondo

J. Johnson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
26373631

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Atlanta
J. Johnson, SG4314-253-431236
J. Smith, SF426-112-535214
A. Horford, C423-113-412219
M. Williams, PF403-98-1181214
M. Bibby, PG182-30-10225
J. Crawford, SG324-137-836317
M. Evans, SF132-40-00135
Z. Pachulia, C71-10-01012
J. Smith, PF40-00-00000
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
R. Morris, CDid Not Play
J. Teague, PGDid Not Play
Totals 35-7723-33301816102
 45.5%69.7% 
Boston
R. Rondo, PG4512-201-237326
R. Allen, SG435-103-353416
P. Pierce, SF428-150-085319
K. Perkins, C423-75-691311
B. Scalabrine, C213-40-05149
G. Davis, PF284-65-641213
T. Allen, SG80-10-01100
E. House, SG60-10-10000
S. Williams, PF51-10-00022
R. Wallace, PFDid Not Play
B. Walker, SGDid Not Play
M. Daniels, SGDid Not Play
J. Giddens, SGDid Not Play
K. Garnett, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-6514-1835192196
 55.4%77.8% 
Other Games
Tor 101 Final
Ind 105
NO 92 Final
Phi 96
Det 87 Final
Chi 120
NY 88 Final
OKC 106
Min 94 Final
Den 105
Mil 101 Final
Pho 105
Mia 89 Final
Utah 118
Cle 117 Final
GS 114