Celtics finish off Hawks, advance to showdown with 76ers

The Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 128-120, securing a place in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. After being outscored by the Hawks 23-8 in the final stretch of Game 5, the Celtics played with added urgency and focus in Game 6, taking control in the final six minutes of the game. Boston rallied to score three long-range shots answered by the Hawks, finishing Game 6 with an 18-8 advantage.
Jaylen Brown finished with 32 points and Jayson Tatum with 30, becoming the second pair in Celtics’ history to each score 30-plus points in the same playoff series. The team’s slower late-game performance in Game 5 was attributed to coach Joe Mazzulla, who admitted to playing slow and took the blame for fading in the previous game. In Game 6, the players made space quickly, successfully putting pressure on defenses to help the team win.
Trae Young had 30 points for the Hawks, most of them in the first half. As they were held to a 1-for-8 showing on contested shots in the final 24 minutes, the Hawks’ players failed to give a final push. The Hawks ended their season with a 41-41 record despite securing the No. 7 seed and beating the Miami Heat in an Eastern Conference play-in game. The Celtics credited the Hawks for providing them with serious challenges and tested their utmost confidence in this game.

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