The Boston Celtics left it late but found their groove in the fourth quarter to escape with a 113-105 win on the road against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
The Celtics outscored the Hawks 30-16 in the final frame, tightening up on the defensive end to win their third-straight game.
Kyrie Irving led the way with 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from three, while Jayson Tatum added 19 points and five rebounds.
The Celtics found themselves in an early hole after giving up 36 first-quarter points, as the Hawks found little resistance from the Celtics defence, with DeAndre' Bembry and Kevin Huerter filling it up early.
Irving kept them in the game, scoring 23 of his 32 points in the first half. He took over the second quarter to cut a 16 point lead to just seven at the half, while none of his teammates cracked double figures through the first 24 minutes.
After the break, tempers flared midway through the third quarter, resulting in Marcus Smart getting ejected after his heated exchange with Bembry. Both were given technicals, with Smart receiving his second of the night after the altercation.
Marcus Smart went at DeAndre' Bembry after getting ejected 😮 pic.twitter.com/9Mw765MzGO- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 20, 2019
With the game in the balance, Boston responded with a 9-0 fourth-quarter run, with a Jaylen Brown 3-pointer giving them the lead. Irving then gave them the lead for good at 101-100 with a driving finish and continued to attack as the quarter went on, pulling off this wild finish to stretch the lead to nine with 1:11 remaining.
Are you kidding me? pic.twitter.com/IHqS17MuEp- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 20, 2019
For the Hawks, Huerter led the way with 18 points and seven assists, while Trae Young added 16 points and seven assists. They're now 14-31 on the season.