Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, February 7, 2020
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics were quiet at the NBA trade deadline Thursday and will forge ahead with a group that has put together five straight wins when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. Playing without All-Star Kemba Walker (knee), fellow guard Marcus Smart (quad) and center Daniel Theis (ankle), the Celtics kept their streak alive with a 116-100 win over Orlando at home Wednesday.
“We battled,” forward Gordon Hayward, who scored 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, told reporters. “Some of it is just being able to experience playing with each other more and more. We’ve had guys in and out of the lineup all year, so we kind of get used to that.”
Jayson Tatum finished with 33 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks for Boston, which improved to 21-5 at home.
The Hawks were quite active approaching the deadline, acquiring centers Clint Capela and Dewayne Dedmon in separate deals and bringing in guard Derrick Walton Jr. and forward Skal Labissiere among a flurry of transactions. Capela, who ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding (13.8) has been bothered by a heel injury but will eventually join a squad that has split its last 12 games after opening 8-32.
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: FS Southeast, NBCS Boston, TSN 1/4/5
ABOUT THE HAWKS (14-38): All-Star guard Trae Young remains the foundation of the Atlanta organization and he poured in 38 points in Wednesday’s 127-120 win at Minnesota while the players tried to ignore the trade activity buzzing around them. “At this point, we’ll take the win” coach Lloyd Pierce told reporters. “It’s a good team win, good road win. A lot of adversity going on right now.” Young, who entered Thursday ranked fourth in the NBA in scoring at 29.3 points per game, scored 34 points in Monday’s 123-115 loss to the Celtics at home.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (35-15): Tatum has scored at least 20 points in seven straight games, shooting 50 percent or better from the field five times in that stretch. “He’s an All-Star for a reason,” Hayward told the media of Tatum on Wednesday. “Kemba was out, he stepped up.” Walker has missed three straight games, Smart has sat out two in a row and fellow guard Jaylen Brown – who had 18 points Wednesday – tweaked a sore ankle against the Magic and is considered day-to-day.
- Tatum, Hayward and Brown each scored over 20 points in Monday’s win at Atlanta.
- Hawks PF John Collins is averaging 24 points and 13.2 rebounds during his streak of five straight double-doubles.
- Boston has won six straight meetings.
PREDICTION: Celtics 119, Hawks 109