Hawks beat Celtics, Spurs crush Grizzlies


April 21, 2016
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (centre) drives to the basket around Memphis Grizzlies guard Jordan Farmar (4) during Game two of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo)

Atlanta and San Antonio took imposing 2-0 leads in their opening-round play-off series with emphatic victories over Boston and Memphis on Tuesday.

The Hawks held the Celtics to the lowest-scoring first quarter in the playoffs since the NBA went to the shot clock, building a 21-point lead and holding on despite an ugly shooting performance of their own for an 89-72 victory and a strong hold on their Eastern Conference series.

Al Horford and Kyle Korver led Atlanta with 17 points apiece, but this game was essentially decided in the first 12 minutes.

The Hawks started nine of 13 from the field, knocking down six from beyond the 3-point arc. Korver made four from long range, a big turnaround from a 1-of-10 performance in Game one that didn't include any threes. Atlanta led 24-3 just 6.5 minutes into the game.


Even after failing to score the rest of the period, the Hawks still led 24-7 heading to the second.

Boston star Isaiah Thomas was held to 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting, going one of six beyond the arc. Marcus Smart stepped in for the injured Avery Bradley and went one of 11, also making just one of 6 from 3-point range. The Celtics finished at 32 per cent overall (28 of 88), 5 of 28 from long range.

Game three is tomorrow night in Boston.

San Antonio were even more impressive than the Hawks in beating the Grizzlies 94-68. Patty Mills had 16 points, Kawhi Leonard added 13 and San Antonio never trailed in sweeping the first two games.

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