What do you get when you can't make shots and you don't play defense? You get a 14-point halftime deficit, which is exactly what the Boston Celtics have through 24 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead 49-35 heading into the break in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at Philips Arena.
Clearly, the Celtics weren't prepared for what the Hawks brought to the table in the first quarter. Atlanta started the game with a furious 20-6 run, feating on a disinterested Celts defense. Josh Smith scored nine in the period, and the Hawks finished the quarter having hit 12-of-22 shots while holding the Celtics to 9-of-22 from the floor. Boston fell behind by 19 points with nearly three minutes to go in the second, but an 8-3 run to close out the quarter brought the Celtics within 14 points at halftime.
Rajon Rondo had 12 points and four assists, Paul Pierce scored nine and Avery Bradley added eight points in the opening half for Boston, which shot 36.6 percent in the half (15-of-41). Smith had a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds in the half and Joe Johnson scored 10 to lead Atlanta, which made 20-of-41 shots to shoot 48.8 percent.