Atlanta Hawks catch fire to take 3-2 series lead over Boston Celtics

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Returning home to the Philips Arena on Tuesday night, the Atlanta Hawks regained the advantage in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics with an 110-83 win in game five.

Things did not start well for the Eastern Conference's fourth seeds, though, with Atlanta scoring just 19 points in the first 18 minutes of the game and making only six of their first 35 field goal attempts.

Although the Celtics jumped out to a 29-19 lead as a result, they were unable to take full advantage of the Hawks' sloppy start as they too struggled for consistency. Boston would live to regret that as Atlanta caught fire in the middle period of the game.

The Hawks went on a 28-8 run to close out the second quarter as they made 11 straight shots - five of which came from three-point range - to enter halftime with a 47-39 lead.

They didn't let up in the third quarter either, shooting at 62 percent to outscore the Celtics 42-23 in the 12 minutes after halftime and take a commanding 27 point lead into the final quarter where they were able to rest a number of their starters.

With the two teams having been separated by fewer than 10 points in three of the first four games of the series, Atlanta certainly made a statement in game five and are now one win away from securing a place in the second round of the playoffs.

In total, five Hawks players finished the night in double figures with Mike Scott top-scoring with 17 points off the bench. Jeff Teague and Kent Bazemore ended the night just one point behind with 16 apiece.

Paul Millsap and Al Horford each finished with eight rebounds while Kyle Korver was good on three of his six three-point shots in a well-round performance from Atlanta.

The team led Boston in a number of categories, including total rebounds (51-44) and fast break points (19-8) while producing just 12 turnovers compared to their opponent's 20.

For the Celtics, Evan Turner led the way with 15 points but no other player from the visiting team's roster scored more than 10.

Isaiah Thomas, the team's leader in back-to-back victories in Boston, was restricted to just seven points on 3-of-12 from the field just two days after dropping 42 points in game four.

The point guard left the game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter with what was described as a left ankle sprain.

The series now moves on to Boston for a crucial game six on Thursday night.

Kyle Korver
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA Playoffs
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Paul Millsap
Isaiah Thomas

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