Atlanta Hawks produce playoff franchise blocking record in game two win

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The Atlanta Hawks produced an impressive display of defensive basketball to see off the Boston Celtics and take a 2-0 series lead heading to Beantown.

The Hawks closed the space on the Celtics and frustrated them all evening at the Phillips Arena as the visitors were limited to just 72 points and a miserly 31.8 percent shooting percentage from the field. 

Isaiah Thomas shot 26.7 percent from his 15 field goal attempts and Marcus Smart connected with just one of his 11 as Atlanta's non-stop hassling on the defensive end paid dividends. 

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But blocking was the real key to their success in game two as the Hawks produced a playoff franchise record in rejections. 

As a collective unit, they blocked 15 attempts at the basket from the Celtics. Whether it was layups or three-point shots, the Hawks were all over it, swatting away attempt after attempt.

Paul Millsap and Al Horford were dominant in the paint and combined for nine blocks on the night. Horford's rejection of a Thomas layup was a particular highlight.

The point guard drove the basket but was viciously turned away by the center, who swatted the ball out of mid-air and sent Thomas crashing to the hardwood. 

On the perimeter they were just as effective, tipping away a number of attempts from deep and proving a nuisance to the Celtics all evening. 

Along with Horford and Millsap's efforts, Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague, Mike Muscala, Thabo Sefalosha and Mike Scott all produced at least one block on the night. 

With Dikembe Mutombo watching on from courtside, the Hawks took inspiration from their legendary center and produce a defensive performance for the ages as the limited the away team to just seven points in the first quarter.


With the series moving to Boston, the Hawks will feel confident of at least tying the two-game spell and returning home with a 3-1 lead. 

The Celtics are likely to be without Avery Bradley for the remainder of the series and the loss of the starting shooting guard during game one is a huge blow to their chances of causing an 'upset' over the fourth seed. 

Having gone 28-13 at TD Garden during the regular season, the famous franchise will be looking forward to some home comforts after a tough trip to Atlanta that saw them lose both outings and one of their most influential players. 

But the series is not over. In a season where the Celtics have stunned a number of doubters, can they produce one more major shock? game three is vital.

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Paul Millsap
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division

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