Hawks stay alive, beat Boston in Game 5
The Celtics never do anything without drama. They never do anything without generating a little stress and anxiety.
What we have counted on the Celtics to accomplish the past five years is to execute down the stretch, to put themselves in the position to succeed with the game on the line. While Paul Pierce or Ray Allen may not always sink that decisive shot, the Celtics have prided themselves on being experts in late-game situations.
In Tuesday night’s 87-86 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Philips Arena, the Celtics’ late-game execution was wretched. The game ended with Rajon Rondo, after stealing an inbounds pass with nine seconds left, trying to pass when he needed to shoot. But Rondo isn’t solely to blame for the Hawks forcing a Game 6 Thursday in Boston.
He single-handedly brought the Celtics back from their stupor to take a 4-point lead in the fourth quarter. But when Pierce airballed a jumper with 18.9 seconds left with the Celtics trailing by a point, no one on the court apparently realized they were not out of fouls, meaning they needed to foul twice to get the Hawks to the line.