Brown, Tatum Score 31 Each, Boston Beats Hawks for 3-1 Lead

The Boston Celtics are up 3-1 in their playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, thanks to 31-point games from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

ATLANTA (AP). -- Jaylen Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 31 points, and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks to win 129-121 on Sunday night. They now have a commanding 3-1 series lead in the first-round playoffs.

The Celtics will be able to deliver the clincher when the series returns for Game 5 in Boston on Tuesday night.

Tatum and Brown scored Boston's 16 final points.

Brown, who had been wearing a mask to protect his face after suffering facial contusions back in February, removed the device when he made only one of seven shots. The rest of the time, he made 11 out of 15 shots.

Boston never trailed, after taking a 4-3 advantage on Derrick White’s basket less than a minute in.

Tatum hit a massive 3-pointer after a ball was thrown away with just two minutes left, putting the Celtics in a commanding 118-106.

Brown sealed the win for the Celtics after Trae Young hit a long 3-pointer to give Atlanta one last chance.

Derrick White scored 18 points, while Marcus Smart had 19.

Young scored 35 points for Atlanta, but that wasn't good enough. De'Andre Hunter scored 27 points and DeJounteh Murray 23.

Hunter scored eight points in a row, including two 3s. He then delivered a thunderous dunking that brought the Hawks to within 53-49.

Boston ended the first half with a 12-4 run, capped off by Smart's 3 pointer. The visitors went into the locker room leading 65-53 and sapped the energy of the home crowd.

The Celtics held their lead throughout the third quarter.

Young's long 3-pointer brought the Hawks to within three points, but Boston made the final shot and Smart got the ball. The Celtics cleared out the middle of court to allow Smart to blow past Bogdan Bogdanovic and lay it in, giving them a 92 87 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Smart was back in the Celtics' lineup, and he looked fine after taking a hard tumble near the end Game 3.

Boston listed him as a "game-time decision" after he landed on his back while fighting for a rebound. Coach Joe Mazzulla, however, declared that his guard was "good to play" well before tip-off.

Keep it Clean

The first week of playoffs was marred by flagrant penalties, ejections, and suspensions.

The Celtics-Hawks matchup has been largely uneventful, although Young was flagrantly fouled for grabbing Tatum’s arm during a drive down the lane.

Quin Snyder, Hawks' coach, said: 'I believe it was a clean series. Physicality isn't always wrong. It's a part of the game. You can be physically aggressive. I would say that the most important word to use is "aggression". Both teams did that.


Celtics: After being outrebounded by 48-29 in the Game 3 of the series, Boston was much more determined to dominate on the boards. The Celtics held a 19-9 advantage at the end the first quarter, a 32-20 edge at halftime, and a 53 52 edge in the final score.