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Celtics beat Hawks, 129-108, for 8th straight victory

  • Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is fouled as he goes to the hoop against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) drives through Atlanta Hawks guards Tyler Dorsey (2) and Jeremy Lin, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, right, steals the ball from Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, left, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, right, drives against Atlanta Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey (2) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce instructs his team in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (right) is fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young in the first quarter of Friday night’s game in Boston. The Celtics won, 129-108. AP

  • Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) goes up to shoot against Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola



Associated Press
Saturday, December 15, 2018

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in three quarters and the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks, 129-108, on Friday night for their eighth straight victory.

Irving also had five assists, five rebounds and four steals. He scored 12 points in the first quarter and helped Boston race to a 23-5 lead. The Celtics topped 100 points with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Jayson Tatum had 22 points for Boston, Marcus Morris added 20, Gordon Hayward had 19 points and five assists, Daniel Theis scored 18 points and rookie Robert Williams III blocked five shots.

Kevin Huerter led Atlanta with 19 points, and John Collins had 11 points and 14 rebounds. The Hawks, losers of six of seven, had nine of their 24 turnovers in the first quarter.

Atlanta regrouped in the second quarter and pulled to 49-45, but Boston pushed the lead back up to 11 at halftime and continued pulling away in the second half with an opening 13-2 run.

Tatum’s three-point play with 2:04 left in the third pushed the Celtics over 100 points at 101-79. A technical on Kent Bazemore after the call led to another free throw, followed by another on Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce five seconds later. Boston led 108-82 after three and let its reserves take over in the fourth quarter.

Tip-ins

Hawks: Outscored Boston, 37-25, in the second quarter to pull to 67-56 at halftime. ... Huerter tied his career high for points, which he set Wednesday night in a loss at Dallas.

Celtics: The Celtics capitalized on nine turnovers by Atlanta in the first quarter and led 42-19 after one period. Boston outrebounded Atlanta, 13-6, in the first and made 16 of 22 shots, going 6-for-8 from 3-point range. ... Boston’s 42 points in the quarter was a little short of the season-high 45, also against Atlanta on Nov. 23. ... Hayward and Jaylen Brown returned after missing Wednesday’s game with illnesses. ... Al Horford missed his fourth straight game with an injured left knee.

Up next

Hawks: At Brooklyn on Sunday.

Celtics: At Detroit on Saturday night.