Hawks overwhelm Celtics, first time since 1958
Atlanta advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a 104-92 Game six victory over Boston on Thursday, beating the Celtics in a playoff series for the first time since 1958.
Paul Millsap had 17 points and eight rebounds while Al Horford and Kent Bazemore each added 15 points for the Hawks, who were based in St Louis when they beat the Celtics in the 1958 Finals.
"Good to finally beat them," said Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who was on Atlanta's 2012 team that lost to Boston in the first round. "It feels good."
The Hawks open the second round on Monday at Cleveland.
The Celtics last three playoff appearances have ended in first-round exits.
Coming off a 27-point win in Game five, the Hawks took advantage of poor shooting by Boston on Thursday, building as much as a 28-point lead.
Atlanta blew the game open with a 39-point third quarter in which it shot 74 per cent from the field.
The Celtics shot just 36 per cent for the game. They made a final charge to get as close as 10 points, but Atlanta was able to close it out.
Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points and 10 assists. Jae Crowder added 15 points.
For most of the game, the Hawks simply benefited from Boston's struggles.
The Celtics played most of the second half with Crowder battling foul trouble.
He went to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 11:21 left in third quarter. Coach Brad Stevens rolled dice and reinserted him, only for Crowder to be called for his fifth foul with 8:13 to play.
Crowder fouled out with three minutes to play but most of the damage was done much earlier.