The Boston Celtics try to extend their two-game winning streak when they take on the Atlanta Hawks in a battle of Eastern Conference clubs on Friday night. The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Boston is coming off a pair of easy victories, including a 128-75 rout of the visiting Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. The Celtics are 25-24 and in third place in the Atlantic Division, trailing the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, who are tied for first place, by 4½ games.
The Hawks have won five in a row, having also beaten the Kings in their last contest, 121-104 on Wednesday night. Atlanta is 22-25 and in fourth place in the Southeast Division, a half-game behind the third-place Washington Wizards.
Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks
On a Roll
The Boston Celtics have had a pair of laughers after a pair of tight losses at home, and the team is feeling confident in its ability to keep it rolling. Boston Jays’son Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 36 and 30 points, respectively, before both sat out the entire fourth quarter against Sacramento in a game the Celtics led by 60 at one point.
“We were sharing the wealth. Everybody contributed. Everybody was hitting shots. We scored 128 points,” Tatum said after Tuesday’s win. “It was just a great night overall for everybody.”
Tatum has been on a great run of scoring of late, averaging 27.2 points over his last 10 contests. He’s also averaging 8.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists over that span, making his case for All-Star Game honors for the third straight season.
Brown, Boston’s other All-Star a season ago, is averaging 24.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals. Brown is coming off his second straight double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds in each of the last two games.
Center Robert Williams III has been racking up double-doubles lately as well, including a 13-point, 17-rebound effort against Sacramento. Williams has four double-doubles over the last seven games, averaging 10.1 points and 11.8 rebounds over that span.
The Hawks have really been playing well and they need to if they’re going to make up ground in the standings. Even with the five-game winning streak, the Hawks are three games under .500, due in part to a five-game losing streak prior to the current run.
Guard Trae Young earned a spot among the All-Star starters, and with good reason. Young is fifth in the league with 27.7 points per game and third with 9.3 assists per contest. He had an off-game in win over Sacramento, hitting just 7 of 18 from the floor and finishing with 17 points, so he’ll be looking to get back on track.
Forward John Collins has been having another solid season, averaging 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds to rank second on the team in both categories. Collins has also had a couple of down offensive games, scoring a total of 17 points in the last two.
Center Clint Capela will be a problem for the Celtics in the paint, as he’s averaging 11.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. When Capela is able to control the lane on both ends, the Hawks can be hard to stop.
Hawks Keep Rolling
Atlanta has been playing very well and will be at home. The Hawks won the first meeting this season in November, and they should be able to repeat that feat on Friday night.
When doing your NBA betting, take Atlanta to win and cover at home.