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Kyrie Irving scores 24 points, Celtics beat Hawks 129-108

BOSTON (AP) Kyrie Irving credits Boston's defense for an offensive resurgence that has the Celtics riding the longest winning streak in the NBA.

Irving scored 24 points in just three quarters, then rested in the fourth as the Celtics finished off a 129-108 rout of Atlanta on Friday night for their eighth straight victory.

''We're just pushing the pace,'' said Irving, who also had five assists, five rebounds and four steals. ''I think our identity is on the defensive end. We just try to pressure them and use that to our advantage and create opportunities on the offensive end.''

Jayson Tatum had 22 points for Boston, Marcus Morris added 20, Gordon Hayward had 19 points and five assists, Daniel Theis scored 18 points and rookie Robert Williams III blocked five shots.

''We've been playing well over the past couple of games, just coming out with some pace and some attitude and just setting the tempo,'' said Morris, who made six of Boston's 19 3-pointers.

Kevin Huerter led Atlanta with 19 points, and John Collins had 11 points and 14 rebounds. The Hawks, losers of six of seven, had nine of their 24 turnovers in the first quarter.

''The hole that we put ourselves in was a big issue,'' Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce said. ''We just have a way of getting off to slow starts. For some reason, we don't have that urgency.''

Atlanta regrouped in the second quarter and pulled to 49-45, but Boston pushed the lead back up to 11 at halftime and continued pulling away in the second half with an opening 13-2 run.

''We've got to do a better job of not putting ourselves in a hole at the start of the third,'' Collins said. ''We give a team like that opportunities, they're going to take them.''

Tatum's three-point play with 2:04 left in the third pushed the Celtics over 100 points at 101-79. A technical on Bazemore after the call led to another free throw, followed by another Ton Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce 5 seconds later. Boston led 108-82 after three and let its reserves take over in the fourth quarter.

WELCOME BACK CARTER

Atlanta's Vince Carter, who is playing in his 21st season, got a warm reception in a place that's known for being tough on opponents.

''I'm grateful because I know on the other side there is a lot of boos playing here,'' Carter said. ''I don't expect it, obviously, but until you hear it, it's a pretty cool moment. Very appreciative.''

OUCH

Hayward, who sat out Wednesday's game with an illness, went to the locker room at the end of the third quarter after biting his tongue hard enough to draw blood late in the period.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Outscored Boston 37-25 in the second quarter to pull to 67-56 at halftime. ... Huerter tied his career high for points, which he set Wednesday night in a loss at Dallas.

Celtics: The Celtics capitalized on nine turnovers by Atlanta in the first quarter and led 42-19 after one period. Boston outrebounded Atlanta 13-6 in the first and made 16 of 22 shots, going 6 for 8 from 3-point range. ... Boston's 42 points in the quarter was a little short of the season-high 45, also against Atlanta on Nov. 23. ... Hayward and Jaylen Brown returned after missing Wednesday's game with illnesses. ... Al Horford missed his fourth straight game with an injured left knee.

UP NEXT:

Hawks: At Brooklyn on Sunday.

Celtics: At Detroit on Saturday night.

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Key Players
J. Collins
20 PF
K. Irving
11 PG
32.0 Min. Per Game 32.0
22.5 Pts. Per Game 22.5
6.4 Ast. Per Game 6.4
4.6 Reb. Per Game 4.6
58.2 Field Goal % 48.4
59.9 Three Point % 48.6
70.5 Free Throw % 83.7
+ 3 Alex Len made 3-pt. jump shot 0:11
  Offensive rebound by Alex Len 0:11
  Daniel Hamilton missed driving layup, blocked by Daniel Theis 0:13
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:18
  Defensive rebound by Semi Ojeleye 0:42
  Tyler Dorsey missed jump shot 0:44
+ 1 Semi Ojeleye made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:57
  Shooting foul on Daniel Hamilton 0:57
  Offensive rebound by Semi Ojeleye 0:58
  Semi Ojeleye missed driving layup 0:59
  Bad pass turnover on Tyler Dorsey, stolen by Terry Rozier 1:12
Team Stats
Points 108 129
Field Goals 36-86 (41.9%) 46-95 (48.4%)
3-Pointers 16-38 (42.1%) 19-39 (48.7%)
Free Throws 20-32 (62.5%) 18-20 (90.0%)
Total Rebounds 57 56
Offensive 16 13
Defensive 28 34
Team 13 9
Assists 27 28
Steals 10 15
Blocks 5 9
Turnovers 24 21
Fouls 19 21
Technicals 3 0
13 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST
24 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
1234T
away team logo Hawks 6-22 19372626108
home team logo Celtics 18-10 42254121129
Team Stats
away team logo Hawks 6-22 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Celtics 18-10 102.1 PPG 47.8 RPG 21.4 APG
Key Players
K. Huerter SG PPG RPG APG FG%
K. Irving PG 21.3 PPG 4.3 RPG 7.0 APG 38.5 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Huerter SG 19 PTS 2 REB 3 AST
K. Irving PG 24 PTS 5 REB 5 AST
41.9 FG% 48.4
42.1 3PT FG% 48.7
62.5 FT% 90.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Huerter 19 2 3 7/10 5/8 0/0 2 31 3 1 5 0 2 -9 26
K. Bazemore 13 3 7 5/11 2/4 1/1 1 28 2 0 3 0 3 -22 29
J. Collins 11 14 1 2/8 0/0 7/12 3 29 0 1 5 7 7 -7 23
D. Dedmon 9 9 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 3 27 4 0 1 3 6 -4 25
T. Young 9 3 3 2/11 0/6 5/6 2 22 0 1 3 3 0 -26 16
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Huerter 19 2 3 7/10 5/8 0/0 2 31 3 1 5 0 2 -9 26
K. Bazemore 13 3 7 5/11 2/4 1/1 1 28 2 0 3 0 3 -22 29
J. Collins 11 14 1 2/8 0/0 7/12 3 29 0 1 5 7 7 -7 23
D. Dedmon 9 9 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 3 27 4 0 1 3 6 -4 25
T. Young 9 3 3 2/11 0/6 5/6 2 22 0 1 3 3 0 -26 16
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
A. Len 13 4 1 4/7 1/2 4/6 2 16 0 0 3 1 3 -13 16
V. Carter 12 0 0 5/8 2/3 0/2 0 16 0 1 0 0 0 -26 13
J. Lin 8 2 4 2/6 2/4 2/3 1 17 1 0 2 1 1 +8 17
T. Dorsey 6 2 1 2/5 1/2 1/2 2 12 0 0 2 0 2 +2 8
D. Bembry 5 3 3 2/6 1/3 0/0 2 20 0 0 0 1 2 -29 14
D. Hamilton 3 2 1 1/3 1/1 0/0 1 6 0 0 0 0 2 +8 7
J. Anderson 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 1 0 0 0 +8 1
J. Adams 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 +5 2
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Waller-Prince - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Poythress - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Spellman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 108 44 27 36/86 16/38 20/32 19 234 10 5 24 16 28 -105 197
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Irving 24 5 5 8/15 4/5 4/4 1 23 4 0 4 1 4 +26 39
J. Tatum 22 3 0 8/14 2/5 4/5 3 28 2 1 4 2 1 +21 24
M. Morris 20 6 1 7/12 6/8 0/0 0 24 1 1 0 1 5 +30 30
A. Baynes 5 3 2 2/4 0/1 1/2 1 13 0 0 1 1 2 +19 11
M. Smart 0 1 7 0/2 0/2 0/0 4 27 4 0 2 0 1 +3 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Irving 24 5 5 8/15 4/5 4/4 1 23 4 0 4 1 4 +26 39
J. Tatum 22 3 0 8/14 2/5 4/5 3 28 2 1 4 2 1 +21 24
M. Morris 20 6 1 7/12 6/8 0/0 0 24 1 1 0 1 5 +30 30
A. Baynes 5 3 2 2/4 0/1 1/2 1 13 0 0 1 1 2 +19 11
M. Smart 0 1 7 0/2 0/2 0/0 4 27 4 0 2 0 1 +3 17
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Hayward 19 1 5 7/10 3/3 2/2 1 17 1 0 3 0 1 +21 28
D. Theis 18 7 1 6/9 2/3 4/4 4 20 0 1 0 3 4 +14 28
T. Rozier 9 7 5 3/8 2/5 1/1 3 24 3 0 3 1 6 -8 26
S. Ojeleye 4 2 0 1/4 0/1 2/2 0 12 0 0 0 1 1 -5 6
J. Brown 4 6 2 2/12 0/5 0/0 3 22 0 1 2 2 4 +1 13
B. Wanamaker 2 1 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 1 -3 3
R. Williams 2 5 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 16 0 5 2 1 4 -14 10
A. Horford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bird - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Yabusele - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Lemon Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 129 47 28 46/95 19/39 18/20 21 233 15 9 21 13 34 +105 235