Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Jeff Teague sank the go-ahead foul shots with 1:30 left in the game as the Atlanta Hawks erased an 18-point deficit en route to a 92-91 triumph over the Boston Celtics Tuesday at TD Garden.
Paul Millsap scored a game-high 34 points on 12-of-19 shooting on top of 15 boards, Teague finished with 16 while Kyle Korver added 14 as the Hawks improved to 18-14 even without injured center Al Horford.
Rookie Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 21 points with five assists and four rebounds, Kris Humphries added 18 points and 10 rebounds and Courtney Lee had 11 for the Celtics, who slipped to 13-18 after losing four of their last five games.
Boston coach Brad Stevens relied heavily on his reserves as the team’s first unit struggled as a group. No Boston starter scored in double digits, with Brandon Bass scoring nine and Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford adding eight apiece.
The Celtics turned a close 23-20 lead into a commanding 18-point advantage via a 17-2 run sparked by Olynyk, Humphries and Lee.
Lee opened the second with five straight points, Gerald Wallace made a layup, Olynyk followed with a jumper while Humphries scored on two dunks before Mike Scott stopped Atlanta’s scoring drought with a jumper.
Olynik retaliated with a jumper and Humphries added two foul shots to give the Celtics a 40-22 edge with 6:18 left in the second.
However, the Hawks closed the first half with a 17-4 blast sparked by two triples by Cartier Martin and one from Korver, who extended his NBA record streak of games with a 3-pointer to 101.
The Hawks continued their fiery play in the third, outscoring the Celtics, 15-4, to take a 54-48 lead.
However, the Celtics’ second unit went back to work, scoring 19 points over the next four minutes to grab a seven-point lead. Boston extended its lead to 11 with 6:28 to go but the Hawks bounced back anew.
The final three minutes of the game had six lead changes before pair of free throws by Teague put the Hawks ahead, 92-91.
Both sides failed to get anything from there, with Boston missing their last five shots, including a Crawford jumper at the buzzer.