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The Celtics seemed to be cruising to victory yet again on Monday night when they pulled out to a 30-point lead over the Hawks. However, Atlanta defied the odds by turning things around to end Boston’s nine-game winning streak. 

It looked like a normal night at the office for the Boston Celtics, who pulled out to a 68-38 lead with around a minute to go before halftime. Jayson Tatum was still boiling ( he had 37 points and 8 rebounds when everything was said and done) and it seemed like the team with the NBA’s best record was well on its way to its tenth straight victory. 

Unfortunately for them, the Atlanta Hawks pulled off a stunning comeback (the biggest ever for the franchise since the NBA began keeping advanced statistics ahead of the 1997-1998 campaign), which culminated with a 3-pointer by DeAndre Hunter ( who had 24 points overall) following a decisive offensive rebound by Clint Capela (14 points and 12 rebounds) that gave the Hawks a decisive four-point lead with less than 10 seconds to go in the fourth quarter and whipped the fans at State Farm Arena into a frenzy. 

“The pill is hard to swallow”

A 9-0 run before the break had already paved the way for the improbable comeback, but it was mainly after the half that everything changed with Boston undoubtedly taking it easy a little too quickly. “We took our foot off the gas in the second half and they found a great rhythm,” Tatum lamented. “It’s a tough pill to swallow.” As his Celtics struggled to score, the Hawks quickly came back and it all came down to the final quarter, where the tussle between the two teams ended with Hunter’s decisive shot.

“It’s like everything we’re doing is going well for us, really a good time,” relived point guard Vit Krejci (16 points) said. Without Trae Young for several weeks, the Hawks remain in the fight for a play-in spot. For Boston, this stoppage has no impact on the standings, as they are crushing the Eastern Conference, but they will have to get back on track in their next game in a rematch with the Hawks later this week. 

This post is originally from L’Équipe