With a chance to close the series out at the Garden and move onto the second round matchup vs the Philadelphia 76ers. The Boston Celtics fell to the Atlanta Hawks 119-117, after a collapse in the fourth quarter.
An absolute choke job.
Up 13 with six minutes to go the Celtics looked prime to close out the series. Then slow offense, turnovers and a Trae Young masterclass ensued.
The Celtics who had four turnovers heading into the fourth quarter finished with nine, two of which were back to back which allowed the Hawks to tie the game with three to go.
After Derrick White drew a foul on Trae and knocked down two free throws, the Celtics regained the lead with seven seconds to go.
With those seven seconds left, Trae Young did Trae Young things and knocked down a thirty footer to steal game five and bring it back to Atlanta for game six.
Trae finished with 38 points and 13 assists, 16 of those came in the fourth, and 14 of those came in a row.
He has figured something out since game two Scoring 30 plus in three straight games on 46/37/94 shooting splits after just 20 points per game on 34/23/69 through the first two games.
A game where the Celtics were up double digits in the fourth and the Hawks were missing Dejounte Murray, somehow ended in a loss.
A truly brutal loss. Even if they survive this series, which is now just that, a series, they spoiled a chance at extra rest and getting onto the 76ers as soon as possible, allowing Joel Embiid who is nursing a sprained LCL to get more rest.
Not to overreact, but that game could cost you your season.
The Celtics have still controlled four of the five games in this series and never, until now, truly felt like they were in any danger. That’s the brightside, the Celtics are still the better team and should close this out next game.
But going six in the first round when you shouldn’t have, while your next opponent is resting up after a sweep could bring trouble that should have easily been avoided.
Expect doomsday in the Boston sports world until game six, and hopefully it ends there with a win. A brutal loss, but not one we haven’t seen before with this core. The championship aspirations are still alive, and so are the Celtics.
We find ourselevs with another chance to close the series out in Atlanta in game six on Thursday night.
Considering anything is possible in game sevens, this is as big as a must win that you’re going to end up with in a first round series as the favorites to win the championship. And if you don’t, it turns into a win and advance, lose and go home game seven at the Garden.
Personally, id like to avoid that.