By Matt Noonan
Paul Pierce tallied 36 points, while Avery Bradley and Kevin Garnett combined for 29, as Boston rallied to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in Game No. 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Tuesday, 87-80.
This particular series is now tied, 1-1 and will resume on Friday when both squads invade the TD Garden for Game No. 3.
The Truth: Paul Pierce appeared more determined in Game No. 2 than he did in Game No. 1, as he began the game with a quick bucket, which provided Boston with some early momentum.
Pierce finished the game 12 of 26 from the field, and 1 of 5 from beyond the arc, but still managed to pace the Celtics in the point’s category.
Buckets in the Paint: Against the Celtics on Tuesday, the Hawks rattled off 42 points in the paint. They also secured 30 defensive rebounds, and held the Celtics to just three boards on offense.
Missed Free Throws: With the game hanging in the balance, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson missed a critical free throw with 1:35 remaining in regulation, which opened the door for Boston to secure their first victory of the series.
The Celtics concluded Tuesday’s contest with 26 free throws made compared to the Hawks, who only sank 16 at the charity stripe.