Celtics Grounded by the Hawks in Atlanta

ATLANTA — (AP) Paul Millsap scored 25 points, Jeff Teague added 16 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 121-97 on Tuesday night.

Atlanta had dropped four of five and was coming off a loss Saturday at Cleveland in which coach Mike Budenholzer was ejected and subsequently fined $25,000 for bumping into referee Ben Taylor.

The Hawks essentially put the game out of reach with an 18-3 run that made it 100-80 with 6:20 remaining on Teague’s three-point play.

Avery Bradley had 15 of his 25 points in the first half for Boston, which has dropped three of four. Isaiah Thomas scored 14 points as the Celtics, who began the game ranked ninth in opponent scoring, allowed a season high in points.

The Hawks never trailed after Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer made it 5-3. Korver, Thabo Sefolosha and Mike Scott each finished with 15 points.

Atlanta shot 56.3 percent from the field, a season high for the Hawks and a Boston opponent.


Celtics: Rookie G R.J. Hunter, who starred one mile down the street at Georgia State, scored a career-high 12 points in his Atlanta pro debut. … Celtics G Marcus Smart missed his second straight game with lower left leg injury. He missed three games earlier this month with a sprained left toe and is expected to be out the next two weeks.

Hawks: G Kent Bazemore missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right ankle. … C Tiago Splitter was out with a sore right hip.


The Hawks retired Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 jersey to honor the longtime shot blocker’s Hall of Fame enshrinement. Mutombo signed as a free agent in 1996 to make Atlanta the second stop on an 18-year career he spent with five other teams. He is the fourth player with a retired jersey, joining Bob Pettit, Lou Hudson and Dominique Wilkins. Former owner Ted Turner also has a banner hanging at Philips Arena.


It took 16 games, but Tim Hardaway Jr. finally made his Hawks debut and scored three points. He was the fifth player off the bench, filling in as Justin Holiday got the night off. Atlanta acquired Hardaway from New York for a first-round pick on draft night, but he’s struggled to impress Budenholzer in practice.


Celtics: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Hawks: Visit Minnesota on Wednesday.