In case Saturday night’s 36.3 percent shooting wasn’t hard enough to watch as the Celtics nearly battled back to win Game 1, Tuesday night’s Game 2 was even uglier.
The Celtics shot a season-low 31.8 percent from the field in Game 2, including just 13 percent on 3-for-23 shooting in a 7-point first quarter. It was the lowest-scoring first quarter of a playoff game in the NBA in the shot-clock era. For the Celtics, it was their lowest scoring quarter in franchise history.
It was clear early on that Tuesday night was not Boston’s night, and after the dismal opening quarter, the Atlanta Hawks cruised to an 89-72 victory to take a 2-0 series lead and send the series back to Boston. Isaiah Thomas, despite shooting just 4-for-15 on the evening, led the Celtics with 16 points. Starters Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger, and Jae Crowder all had nights to forget, shooting a combined 4-for-25 for 9 points. The absence of guard Avery Bradley, who is expected to miss the remainder of the series with a hamstring injury suffered in Game 1, was brutally apparent for the C’s on their way to the big loss.
The scene shifts to Boston for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday nights with the Celtics in need of a win to get back into the series. Tickets to all Celtics playoff games are available HERE.