Tatum and Brown star as Celtics close out Hawks and punch Conference Semifinals ticket
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both produced 30-point games as the Boston Celtics secured their spot in the Conference Semifinals with a 128-120 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
The Celtics clinched the series 4-2 with Thursday's road win at State Farm Arena, booking a date with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with Game 1 scheduled for Monday.
Boston will be relieved to have closed out the series in six after Trae Young's buzzer-beater in Game 5, with the 76ers having had time to rest after sweeping the Brooklyn Nets 4-0.
But it was not easy for the Celtics, who trailed 100-98 at three-quarter time but raced ahead in the blink of an eye with an 11-0 run on three straight three-pointers before Tatum's dunk with 2:07 left.
Dejounte Murray snapped that run with a triple to cut the score to 121-116 but the Celtics never surrendered that lead with Marcus Smart scoring their final seven points to close it out.
Tatum scored 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting with 14 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. Brown posted a team-high 32 points, making six-of-eight from three-point range.
Smart added 22 points, while Al Horford scored 10 points including two three-pointers with 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Atlanta's Game 5 hero Young top scored with 30 points with 10 assists but went cold after half-time, shooting one-of-12 from the field in the second half. Murray went scoreless in the first half but finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists.