The Boston Celtics had six players in double-digits, led by 18 points from both Ray Allen and Glen Davis, and coasted their way to a 102-90 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks for their 12th straight win.
Kevin Garnett chipped in 17 points and 14 rebounds while Paul Pierce recorded 10 assists, filling in nicely for point guard Rajon Rondo, who is expected to miss "a couple of weeks" with his sprained ankle.
It was the type of win that has CelticsBlog wondering if it's fair to think of the Hawks as rivals anymore.
At this point you have to really consider the notion that the Hawks just aren't a top 4 team in the East anymore. Sure, they were without their most highly paid player most talented player Joe Johnson tonight, and Jamal Crawford sitting is a big deal too, but Boston played without its best player too (Rajon Rondo), without 3 of 4 of its centers, and without its best wing substitution (Delonte). Pile that on top of playing in a back to back, and Atlanta should've been much more competitive down the stretch.
And it seems some of the players agree. After the game, Davis said, with a smile, "It switched with the Knicks now because they're playing good. That's when the Hawks were playing really good, you know?"
"It wasn't like it used to," Davis said of the emotion in Thursday night's game. "I don't know why. I think their team has changed."
Sure, the Hawks were without Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford, but the Celtics have a pretty impressive list of injured players too.
"We've been together now for a few years," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We've added some pieces, given, we got some pieces out, but still we want to come in here and we want to show that we're a much better ball club than we showed the first time we met this team this year. Right now this Celtics team has our number."
The Celtics take a couple days off before hosting the 11-13 Indiana Pacers Sunday afternoon.