Atlanta, GA (Sporting Alert) — Captain Paul Pierce answer the call and carried the short-handed Boston Celtics on his back with a masterful performance in the thrilling comeback 87-80 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
The win saw the Celtics leveling the series 1-1.
Pierce scored 36 points and 14 rebounds for Boston, which were without star point guard Rajon Rondo, who was suspended for the game and the veteran Ray Allen, who is still out injured.
Kevin Garnett supported Pierce well with 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Avery Bradley, who started for Rondo added 14 points in the win for the Celtics.
Joe Johnson led the way for the Atlanta Hawks with 22 points, five assists and four rebounds, while Jeff Teague had 18 points and five boards.
Josh Smith ended with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the defeat for the Hawks, which led 44-41 at half-time.
Coverage: NBA TV
7:30 PM ET, May 1, 2012
Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Boston: P. Pierce 36 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast
Atlanta: J. Johnson 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl