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Garnett, Garden ghosts lift Celtics past Hawks into second round

May 11, 2012, 12:08 AM EST

Kevin Garnett AP

Pretty? Who cares about pretty? Survive and advance.

Game 6 Thursday night was the kind of scrappy, weird game that the Celtics just always seem to win at home. The kind of game where the ghosts of Celtics teams past that haunt the Garden seem to help them. The kind of games where it takes Atlanta’s Al Horford fouling Ryan Hollins fighting for a rebound to give the Celtics a second chance, one where Kevin Garnett hits the game winner. The kind of game where Paul Pierce blocks Joe Johnson at the rim with the game on the line. Where a rare call has the Hawks taking the ball out of bounds late rather than shooting free throws. The kind of game where Horford has a chance to tie but somehow the free throw just misses its mark and Boston holds on.

Boston did hold on and win, 83-80 over the Hawks to win the series 4-2 and advance to face the Philadelphia 76ers in the next round. There’s a fast turnaround — Game 1 is Saturday at the Garden.

There was a theme to this game — whenever a team stopped settling for jump shots and got the ball inside they would go on a run. Neither side shot well — Boston shot 41.9 percent, the Hawks 41 percent.

Kevin Garnett was the key for Boston, finishing with 28 points on just 19 shots, getting to the line 10 times. He pushed inside — including on the game winner with 30 seconds left, a 10-foot fadeaway over Josh Smith — but he also knocked down his jumpers.

Paul Pierce pitched in 18 points on 11 shots, but he had the biggest defensive play of the night, blocking a Joe Johnson drive and layup when the Celtics were up just one with 10 seconds left.

Boston had led most of the second and third quarter and early in the fourth had pulled away to a 74-65 lead. But give the Hawks credit, they would not just roll over on the road. They tightened their defense way up and went on a 10-2 run to make this a close game down the stretch.

As he was in Game 5, Al Horford played well with 15 points and 9 rebounds. If he had been healthy all season, this would have been a different series, very likely with a different outcome.

But Boston, with their veterans and their history — and their defense — gutted out another win. They move on to face a Sixers team that they have to think they can beat, not easily but beat if you continue to defend and get one guy an night to just step up big. And if you get by them…

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Boston and the ghosts that seem to inhabit the Garden and get them wins in games just like this deserve a night to enjoy it. They earned it.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - May 11, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Yeah, the CHEATING ghosts of Mike Mathis, Earl Strom and Ed Rush, that is. GOODNESS those last few minutes of slanted officiating was BRUTAL.

  2. andyhr17 - May 11, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    The Celtics won, obviously the refs were in on it. Stern too, most likely. That’s usually the general feeling after the Celtics win, right?

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      All one has to do is to look at the disparity of fouls called and the handwriting was on the wall.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        The Hawks had 6 more fouls than the Celtics, in 6 games (113 for the C’s, 119 for the Hawks). That doesn’t denote any writing on the wall. Face it, the Refs have always and will always blow calls (as is typically the case). You’re just mad that the Celtics made it out of the first round (in addition to any Boston team winning anything, ever).

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        I fully expected the Celtics to make it out of the first round, morononlithium. They won’t get past the Heat however, so my prediction that they won’t win a title this year will still come true. To the dismay of all you little Boston crybabies.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Your knack for creating insulting nicknames for people, is about as talented for your knack at writing, Bozos. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get a rise out of me, so it’s wasted effort. =)

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Every time you respond, I get a rise out of you. loser. Your continued responses to my posts only prove that I OWN YOU.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        I respond because I have nothing better to do at the moment, and I find your infantile diatribes amusing. Sad, and pathetic, yes….but quite amusing. I get this image of a clown, tears streaming down his face, ruining his make-up, and a snot soaked red foam nose.

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        You respond because you are a crybaby New England fan. And if you find “infantile diatribes amusing”, you must have busted a gut reading the whiny behavior of New England sports fans, particularly those in the baseball arena, for the latter part of the 20th century, particularly the winless 90s.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        Any whiny complaints are pretty amusing, especially when dominance and futility are typically a natural occurrence in any sport. Certainly, there are exceptions, but generally speaking most teams don’t stay at the top for too to long.

        And yes, your infantile diatribes are quite amusing. As I said, tears from a clown. Makes me think of Cartman, feeding off of Scott Tenorman’s tears. Keep it coming Bozos, you’re always good for a laugh.

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        And you New England sports fans who live in a world of denial are even more amusing. Particularly given that I continue to get tons of responses from the hordes of butthurt New Englanders, who have proven to be more than willing to dish out the insults in the past but have proven to not be able to take similar insults in return. The mark of a bunch of losers in life.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        Keep it coming Bozos, your tears only make me happier.

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        As your weak responses, combined with the equally lame responses of your fellow New England crybabies, continue to make me laugh until I can’t stand it anymore. Every response by one of you whiners only confirms the fact that you are all the biggest losers on the planet. Please continue to respond to further add to the confirmation.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        Yeeeessss, tears of unfathomable sadness…they’re so yummy!

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 6:13 PM

        An unlimited supply of those stored up from nearly a century of Red Sox fans crying over New York dominance over them. Drink your fill, morononlithium.

      • mornelithe - May 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        My glass is never full Bozos, no matter how much you try to fill them it your despair. Keep it coming Bozos, I thirst for your tears!

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM

        Keep fantasizing about it, morononlithium. No tears here, so you basically will die of thirst.

      • mornelithe - May 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Are you still pmsing about this? My word, little lady, dry those tears and move on.

        (My apologies to any women this offends, I realize that even your gender probably wants no affiliation with the clown)

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 6:55 PM

        Again, no tears to dry. If you really want tears, all you have to do is hook up with Pats fans from the last Super Bowl…or Bruins fans after the lowly Caps knocked them out of the playoffs this year…or Red Sox fans since Day One of the 2012 season (or those that witnessed the biggest collapse in MLB history last September). Plenty of tears from that crowd.

      • andyhr17 - May 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Oh my god, will both of you just stop?

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM

        Ignore it if you dont like it, crybaby Boston fan.

  3. JMil_ATL - May 11, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    Definitely a lil’ home cook’n. Terrible to see any team lose like that. ATL vs. Philly would be a much better series to watch.

    Obviously I’m a little biased. I respect Doc Rivers as a coach but can’t stand Boston because of attitudes from KG & PP. Will enjoy the day they retire.

    • andyhr17 - May 11, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      If by better series you watch you mean “Which mediocre team can beat the other mediocre team for a chance to get swept by the Heat” then yes, you’re right…

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Boston isn’t beating the Heat either, Boston idiot.

      • infectorman - May 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Because Miami OWNS the Celtics this year, right?
        Please. spare us your frontrunning nonsense. Lamebron is a false prophet

        Miami and their “fans” better worry about the Pacers. Miami has won NOTHING…..ever

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        And most of what Boston has won was way back when there were only 8 teams in the league.

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        infectorman – May 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM
        Because Miami OWNS the Celtics this year, right?
        Please. spare us your frontrunning nonsense. Lamebron is a false prophet

        Miami and their “fans” better worry about the Pacers. Miami has won NOTHING…..ever

        __
        Sixers won the season series from the Celtics…and that was with Boston healthier than they are now. The only “frontrunning nonsense” emanates from (Has)Beentown.

    • xxshookonexx - May 11, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      “Obviously I’m a little biased. I respect Doc Rivers as a coach but can’t stand Boston because of attitudes from KG & PP. Will enjoy the day they retire.”

      Their attitudes are different than that of Horford and Smith?

    • jesweeney11 - May 11, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      A lil’ attitude from KG & PP. The whole NBA game is attitude and trash talkin’. Every team does it, but some have an AA and some have a PHD. Contrary others have their GED in trash talking.

      Horford and Teague are the nucleus to that team. JJ might be the best player but you don’t build a team around a jump shooter who doesn’t get to the line. Nor, do you build your team around Rasheedlike player in Smith who thinks he should have a perimeter game. The dude has major skills but no baskeetball IQ. As for tude, did you see the Josh Smith scowl and preen? Looked like he was constipated.

  4. infectorman - May 11, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    @mr wrong

    No amount of calls will ever make up for the “Officials” Handing the Lakers the game 7 in the Finals in 08.

  5. bostonbruinsfan33 - May 11, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    This Celtics team was great last night. KG came through when we REALLY needed him to do that the most. With Ray and Pierce injured and clearly not at 100%, Garnett stepped up at the right moments. That’s what happens when you tick off KG by calling him both “dirty” and the “o”-word. He gets fired up and has a great night.

    The Celtics-Sixers series will be an interesting one, no doubt. Hopefully guys start getting healthy so they can make an impact on it.

  6. dirtmcgirt413 - May 11, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Wow. Cry baby haters…take you ball back and go home. You lost. Get over it. Btw… Kg is a beast!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

  7. j0esixpack - May 11, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    For all their faults, this is the team no one wants to play. Heart counts for a lot this time of year and these vets know it’s probably their last chance.

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Too bad for the Boston crybabies that they aren’t going to win anything…this year or anytime in the near future.

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        A clown walks into a bar with a crystal ball …

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Improved version… A one-trick clown with a cracked crystal ball walks into a bar …

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Punchline: … And says, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer, down my pants…

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Too bad that “clown” was a crybaby New England sports fan, who was crying because he saw all of the teams that he had been bandwagoning on for the last decade going down the toilet. Boston = CHOKE CITY

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        Clowns are not known for strong math or reasoning skills. Stick to the seltzer bottle… Oh, and the dunking booth called. Your break is up.

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        New England sports fans are even lower on the math and reasoning skills scale than any “clown” in the fevered imagination of your meth-addled brain, doctorpoops. Most of you idiots still think that the last millenium ended on December 31, 2000…while the vast majority of the world had celebrated it one entire year earlier.

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Two cannibals were eating a clown, when one turns to the other and says: “Does this taste funny to you?”

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        Who do you get your jokes from? Henny Youngman?

  8. mungman69 - May 11, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    The Sixers are coming and they won’t quit.

  9. heat256 - May 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    ATL lost the game. BOS didn’t win it. The Hawks are a team that just can’t figure out how to win when it counts. They had a decent chance to beat the Celtics and move on, but they were undone by the stink of losing that eminates from them. Let’s see if BOS-PHI is more entertaining.

  10. canehouse - May 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    KG was a beast… just when many thought he was old, tired, and beaten… he has hit another gear. Unreal to watch him operate.

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      More like the refs swallowed their whistles every time KG defended anyone.

  11. borderline1988 - May 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Boston simply knows how to close out games, even if they don’t deserve the win. Late in the 4th quarter, you just had that feeling that Boston would win in the end.

    Although the refs did help them out. Not giving the Hawks free throws during that out of bounds foul was a blown call.
    There should have been a foul called on Paul Pierce on that Joe Johnson layup. Pierce was clearly beaten to the basket, and had his hand on Johnson’s shoulder the entire way to the basket. Joe Johnson was stupid for not leaning into Pierce and giving a shout to sell the call (which ironically is exactly what Pierce would’ve done), but still, was definitely a foul.

    That being said, the Hawks threw away a game in which they had multiple opportunities to win. Championship teams like the Celtics seem to always win these type of games, and the fake contenders always seem to find a way to lose these types of games.

  12. borderline1988 - May 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Also what about that terrible decision by Josh Smith to shoot that long jumper with under a minute to go? I think that is what set up the Garnett shot.
    His entire career, he has been criticised for shooting low-percentage outside shots, and this is the time he decides to do it again?!

    I’ve always thought that Josh Smith would eventually wake up, become a smarter player, and morph into a dominant player.

    That jumper right there brought about an epiphany for me. Josh Smith has maxed at his potential, and will always be an inconsistent, low-basketball IQ type of player. He’ll always post good stats, but is not a star who can carry his team, and cannot be relied upon in crucial moments.

    That’s the plain truth, and it sucks for the Hawks, because Josh Smith and Joe Johnson are both highly skilled players but are not championship cornerstone pieces.

  13. bradyisbetterthanrodgers - May 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    bozo if i were u, i wouldnt worry too much about the celtics. they are in the second round already. the lakers on the other hand are in a game 7 against the nuggets. even if they win game 7, there is no way they will beat the thunder

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      The Celtics won’t beat the Heat either, meaning that you won’t have any bragging rights either, idiot.

  14. j0esixpack - May 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    As Boston/New England fans we know how rare and treasured championship seasons should be… Waiting 86 years for the Red Sox drives home the benefit of remaining humble.

    That being said, nothing makes one feel superior better than a few choice quotes by resident anti-Boston stalker bozoforbrains who apparently has no idea how pathetic he looks.

    Hey bozo – what teams do you root for? My guess is you won’t tell us because they’re already playing golf.

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Boston/New England fans remaining humble? Biggest joke on the Internet. You crybabies have been whining for 86 years and pounding your chests with false pride over the recent sucesses your local mercenary teams. Either way, you all are the biggest bunch of losers in America. Least productive region in the country for athletic talent, hands down.

      • infectorman - May 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

        It’s simply classic you’d refer to any team as “mercenary”, other then your beloved Yankees.
        Paid much attention to THEM over, say, the last freakin’ century, Tool-boy?

        NYY wrote the book on mercenary, The whole world knows it, including your sorry A$$.
        With all the players they’ve flat out purchased over the last 100 years, they should have won at least 12 more World Series.
        If only they didn’t plain SUCK, maybe they would have.

        BOZO-the 4th Grader: the Perfect A-Hole for the perfect MERCENARY “Team”.

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        “mercenary” meaning that they aren’t from New England, moron. I didn’t expect you to get it though.

      • infectorman - May 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

        right, like NYY players are from NY?
        Moron! Stop pulling your BS, fake generalizations out from your considerable sized, smelly A$$ tool-boy.
        I could give a rats a$$ where athletes come from. You just constantly make BS up to hate on this region like a blind hobo mumbling to himself while he picks through garbage cans hoping someone, anyone, will throw him a dime. You epitomize all that’s wrong with the world; Blind, ignorant hatred. G.F.Y. Hard! Back to a cellar someone else pays for to post more black-slime via an internet connections SOMEONE ELSE PAYS FOR!
        Damn straight you don’t have a job. How could you, since all you do is make up BS and post it on the internet, all effing dfay and nite, troll man. Typical parasite; Sucking on the Government’s breast like the leach on society that you are. GFY, AGAIN !

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        Hating on other regions was INVENTED in New England, AIDSinfectedman. Just in case you forget why the term “Masshole” was coined. New Englanders are the biggest bunch of “regional haters” in the US. In particular, you crybabies have been “hating” on New York City ever since it overtook Boston in importance over 200 years ago. Now take your medicine like a good little boy. BTW, I OWN YOU.

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 12:50 AM

        BTW, Tom Yawkey was the one who wrote the book on buying players…and getting ZERO return on his gross overspending. At least the Yankees got titles for their money.

  15. j0esixpack - May 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Ah… Well done doctor!

    A Chuckles the Clown reference… If bozo, dressed as a peanut, is ripped apart by an elephant, I’m still not sure I would shed a tear, but I won’t rule it out.

    • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Good to know there is another aficionado of clown-centric humor on the site …

      Maybe this quote from (fill in the blank) clown is also applicable to our “favorite” clown:

      “The only show YOU (i.e., Bozo) could ever star in would be a show called the… Not… Funny… DIARRHEA CLUB!”

      • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        Good to see that I OWN YOU losers. Every time I set the bait in the trap, you idiots go for it. The joke is on you all, crybabies.

      • doctorhoops - May 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Maybe we’ll have to change that quote to read the “Verbal Diarrhea Club.”

  16. ezwriter69 - May 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Thanks to the Atlanta owner for making me, you know, give a damn and actually give a full effort for my 300K per game… I actually gave a full effort last night, without his horrible hateful words, that would never have happened.

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Only children have need for “bulletin board” material as motivation. Real men don’t need that to excel.

    • scalfor3 - May 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      yeah, cause KG normally acts and plays like he doesnt care. dumbass

  17. j0esixpack - May 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    What’s most pathetic about bozo is that he doesn’t realize how pathetic he is… and that he’s actually deluded himself into thinking he’s the king of his little Internet fiefdom.

    Now be expecting another 5-10 adolescent rants from someone who patterns himself after Bozo the Clown

    • bozosforall - May 11, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      Little Internet fiefdom? You mean all of those Boston threads that you crybabies flood with idiotic rants and thumb suck-ups to your fellow Boston morons?

      Now I’ll be expecting plenty of cowardly “thumbs down” to my post from the whiniest fan base on the planet.

  18. redblue560 - May 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    The hawks got the formula too late….build up a big lead and swarm the starting 5 to wear them down. The celtics bench are capable players but looks like do not have the confidence playing together as a second unit.

  19. scalfor3 - May 11, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    guys bozo isn’t a clown. he’s a troll. stop responding to him

    • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      They can’t. Because Boston crybabies can’t take any criticism.

  20. infectorman - May 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    While true professional athletes should not need outside influences to motivate them to be great, a rudimentary understanding of basic human nature enables most people to understand that when someone says “you cant”, you instinctively want to prove them wrong.
    Whether on a conscience level or not, it goes back to when we are young children, that whole ” you’re gonna tell me what I can’t do?” posture that any real athlete will take as a challenge.
    Obviously, certain TOOLS who incessantly troll Boston related stories on this, and 50 Million other sites, have ZERO understanding of human nature AND CLEARLY have never played ANY sport.

    • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 1:03 AM

      Keep fooling yourself, AIDSinfectedman. I have more personal sports success than you could ever dream of. Everyone knows that New England historically produces the least athletes per capita than any other region in the US, which means that you losers have to live vicariously through the successes of the athletes that get paid to “represent” your miserable city.

      • infectorman - May 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        wrong again above, parasite:
        Harry Frazee, a NY Broadway idiot with more love for show-tunes than baseball, sold Ruth to the Yankees in 1920, when Tom Yawkey was 17 years old, only 13 FREAKIN’ years before he even owned the Red Sox. Idiot!

        How does Bozo the petty little 4th-grader like to say it? “Owned”

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees because he couldn’t afford to keep him…because he let some little piece of a$$ con him into financing some stupid Broadway show. Tom Yawkey, OTOH, raided the Philadelphia A’s, spending tons of money in a FUTILE attempt to buy a title. Eight decades of FAILURE, perfect for a craphole city such as Boston.

        And previous to either Frazee or Ruppert, the Red Sox owner, Joseph Lannin, BOUGHT several players, including Jimmy Collins, Cy Young, Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Tris Speaker – ALL players who were with other teams and for whom those teams received no players in return (basically they were all free agents). This was a blatant attempt to buy titles, a tradition that continued under Tom Yawkey.

        As for being “petty”, Boston has the patent on that…with nearly 100 years of petty jealousy for the greatest franchise in MLB, the New York Yankees. Can’t get any more petty than “Yankees Suck” t-shirts in Fenway.

        Yes, AIDSinfectedman…once again, you have been owned.

      • infectorman - May 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        Bozo, here’s what you said:

        blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
        and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
        also, blah blah balh ablha blahdy-blah blah blah
        New England, blha blha blah blah blah blah blahdy blha blah. Moron blah blah blah!!!!
        Crybaby-blah blha blah blah BLAH!

        that about covers it

      • bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Yet you continue to listen, Charlie Brown.

        I am the teacher, you are the kindergartener.

        I OWN YOU

  21. bozosforall - May 14, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    BTW….CELTICS CHOKE, then LOSE tonight!

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