Celtics defeat Hawks, progress to face 76ers

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Boston Celtics defeated Atlanta Hawks as they advance to face Philadelphia 76ers.

Boston Celtics pull out a 128-120 win over the Hawks at State Farm Arena. The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals for a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, who defeated the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round series.

Celtics guard stated after the game that he knows how tough it will be to face the 76ers but believes it will be fun.

“We know they’re going to bring the fight,” Celtics wing Jaylen Brown said. “Philly is a tough environment to win. Their crowd gets involved in the game. It’s going to be fun.”

Speaking about the motivation that got them the win Brown said: “Adrenaline, just that will and perseverance to finish the game. It was close and both teams was exchanging blows, we were both tired.

“And we didn’t want to be the team going back home with an ‘L.’ So we just found a way to win.”

With the loss, Atlanta’s season ends. The Hawks went 41-41 during the regular season and blew out the Miami Heat in an Eastern Conference play-in game to secure the No. 7 seed. Atlanta also finished the year going 14-18 in games coached by Snyder, including the postseason.

Still, the Celtics repeatedly credited the Hawks for providing them a serious challenge in this opening series.

“I know the narrative: We were supposed to sweep them, it was supposed to be a cakewalk,” Tatum said. “They really tested us, coming in here in this environment, and they had the utmost confidence in this game, and you could see it.

“The way they played, the shots they were hitting. The crowd was into it. It was a fun game to be a part of.”

Brown believes battling with Atlanta will help his team as it advances to play Philadelphia.

“It’s going to be another test — again,” Brown said. “We’re going to have to be ready to fight — again. And I’m up for it and I can’t wait.”


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