The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks resume their NBA opening round playoff series Tuesday night with the C’s a victory away from advancing to the second round. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden where Boston is favored by -13 points with the total listed at 229.5. The Celtics are -900 on the moneyline while the Hawks carry a ML price of +640 on the ML.
Boston Celtics (60-26, 3-1, #2 seed)
The Celtics took a 2-0 series lead at home before splitting the last two games in Atlanta, with Sunday’s 129-121 win putting the No. 2 seed on the verge of advancing. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 31 points, leading six Celtics who scored in double figures.
The Game 4 Jayson Tatum we’ll be getting tomorrowpic.twitter.com/IhbL1qEkXY
— CelticsNation (57-25) (3/16) (@CookedByCeltics) April 22, 2023
Jaylen Brown’s strong performance in the Game 4 win helps the @celtics to a 3-1 series lead!
31 PTS | 12-22 FGM
Game 5: Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET, TNT pic.twitter.com/HRSW1dlXMK
— NBA (@NBA) April 24, 2023
According to ESPN Stats, the Celtics are now 22-1 when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both score 30 points, including the playoffs. That .957 win percentage is the best among duos all-time, minimum 20 games.
Atlanta Hawks (43-44, 1-3, #7 seed)
Atlanta faces an even steeper climb than just being down 3-1. They’ll be without guard Dejounte Murray, whose contact with referee Gediminas Petraitis at the end of Game 4 earned him a one-game suspension and loss of a game check.
Dejounte Murray bumps the ref postgame? (via: @creatorjordan23) pic.twitter.com/TiYZgSmdQk
— Celtics Lab Podcast (@CelticsLab) April 24, 2023
Murray has averaged 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals through the first four games of the series. But even with Murray in the lineup, it was going to be a tall order for the Hawks who are 1-5 against the Celtics this season. That includes Atlanta’s 130-122 victory at home in Game 3.
Trae Young did his best to keep the Hawks in the game, scoring 35 points and dishing out 15 assists:
Trae Young vs Boston Celtics
11/26 FG#Hawks L.#TrueToAtlanta #NBA #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/VEvtrfr0lB
— A Walking Highlight (@11AWH) April 24, 2023
The Hawks have won back-to-back Game 5s in their playoff history against Boston (2012 and 2016), but this one is do-or-die.
Celtics with added incentive
Boston has a little extra motivation to end the series sooner rather than later.
With a victory in five games, the Celtics would begin their second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, rather than next Monday. An earlier start to that playoff round is bad news for the Sixers, given that Joel Embiid is currently recovering from a sprained knee.
Boston will welcome any opportunity to take on Philadelphia without the MVP candidate on the court, even if it’s just for a game or two. Look for the Celtics to wrap up the series on Tuesday.