Jerryd Bayless scored a season-high 29 points to help lift the Celtics to a 115-104 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Boston on Wednesday night. Bayless was two points shy of tying his career-high.
All five starters for the Celtics were in double-figures as Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 22 points and 11 assists, Jeff Green added 17 points and eight rebounds, Brandon Bass chipped in with 14 points and eight boards, and Kris Humphires finished with 10 points.
Backup forward Gerald Wallace achieved his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 26 points. DeMarre Carroll tied his career-high with 24 points, Kyle Korver kept his 3-point record streak going, hitting four triples and finishing with 17 points, and backup guard Lou Williams chipped in with 13.
Elton Brand — the Hawks’ only center — played a hell of a game as he filled the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five blocks in 34 minutes. Brand is in his 15th NBA season.
Atlanta opened the game extremely hot, hitting their first six shot attempts to jump out to a quick 13-2 lead in the first three and a half minutes of play. They extended the margin a few minutes later to 21-6, but from that point the Celtics outscored the Hawks 19-6 down the stretch, cutting the score to 27-25 at the end of the first quarter.
Bayless tied the score, and then gave Boston the lead on back-to-back buckets in the first two minutes of the second quarter, and they hung on to claim a two-point lead at halftime and throughout the third period.
The Hawks trailed 81-79 entering the fourth quarter and unfortunately couldn’t get enough stops, also failing to tie the score at 92-92 when Shelvin Mack missed one-of-two free throws with 6:43 remaining.
If Mack would have made the second free throw, Atlanta would have leveled the score and maybe would have been able to grind out a tough win on the road. However, that didn’t happen, Mack missed the second attempt, the Hawks trailed by one point, and the Celtics pulled away down the stretch to secure their 12th home victory of the season.
The plummeting Hawks have lost two straight and 10 of last 11 overall. They will now pack up and head out on a five-game West Coast road trip.