Atlanta Hawks faced-off against the Boston Celtics in a match-up that had the feel of a game 7 of the playoffs. From the onset, both teams started hot by scoring nearly 40 points a piece in the first quarter.
The Celtics would pull ahead by as many as 15 points in the second quarter and held a 10-point lead at halftime. However, the Hawks would charge back in the second half and keep the score close up until the fourth quarter when things got testy.
On a drive to the basket, Trae Young was fouled by the aggressive Marcus Smart. Following the foul, Smart would grab Young and throw him on the court. The brief rumble was broken up by players and officials. Smart was given a technical foul and ejected from the game while Young was given a tech.
When asked after the game if he knew why he was given a tech even without being the aggressor. Young decided to play it safe by saying, “I don’t want to Fred VanVleet these people,” referring to the Toronto Raptors guard was was recently fined for comments against the refs.
“I don’t know what the determination was other than there was two Techs given and Marcus got ejected,” coach Quin Synder said. “This is a competitive game. Guys mix it up. Security guys did a good job keeping everything in line and finishing the game. There’s a lot of other things that we have to worry about, to be honest.”
Despite making an effort for a fourth quarter comeback, the Hawks would fall 134-125 in a game where the Celtics made 20 3-pointers.
Young led the Hawks with 35 points and Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 34. The two teams will met again in Boston on the final night of the regular season, April 9.