The NBA lockout occasionally leaves its imprint on an otherwise nondescript meeting between two middling Eastern Conference playoff teams, and tonight the lockout gods (or demons, rather) pushed dozens of shots wide right, or left, or short, or long.
Even the game’s most exciting highlight, Jeff Teague’s tomahawk dunk on Ray Allen’s dome, resulted in a mistake. He screamed in Allen’s face, received a technical, and seemed to wave smelling salts in front of the snoozing Celtics. Teague would later airball a potentially game-tying three-pointer. Needless to say, he refrained from taunting after shanking the final shot.
Afterward, Kevin Garnett unsurprisingly decided to pretend like he had no idea Teague exists.
“I don’t even know who you are talking about. That guy’s a nobody,” he told reporters, as quoted by Gary Washburn.
The first quarter ended with a score of 17-14, meaning the Hawks and Celtics combined for more misses (28) than points (27). Quality of play hardly increased from there, at least for the next two quarters, and the Celtics entered the fourth quarter boasting smoking-hot 35 percent shooting from the field yet trailing by just one, 51-50.
The Hawks scored seven points in the next eight minutes just as the Celtics miraculously remembered that the objective of basketball is to shoot a basket through the middle of a rim, and Boston seized a 73-58 lead. Unsurprisingly, the lockout demons returned and the Celtics needed to sweat out Teague’s final shot.
I think my eyeballs are bleeding, but the Celtics escaped Philips Arena (which seemed to have more Celtics fans than Hawks fans) with a victory. The Celtics are now 3-3 on the road trip from hell, which isn’t perfect but leaves the Celtics knocking on the door of Atlantic-Division leading Philadelphia.