There was a prevailing thought that at the very least one in every of Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White would sneak in and earn an All-Star choice this week as harm replacements for Joel Embiid and Julius Randle. But it didn’t come, as Trae Young and Scottie Barnes received the nod.
Neither Porzingis or White will complain in regards to the snub. They’ll take the additional relaxation. Instead on Wednesday, the 2 Celtics confirmed what they actually care about: Impacting successful.
It wasn’t particularly fairly. It didn’t characteristic a lot protection. The Celtics and Hawks appeared like they had been simply exchanging layup strains for many of the night time in a recreation that actually resembled one being performed per week earlier than the All-Star break. But when it mattered, the Celtics emerged as the higher group that they’re. Fueled by a giant fourth quarter from White, and one other sturdy night time from Porzingis, the C’s lastly pulled away within the fourth quarter to safe a 125-117 victory.
Porzingis scored 31 factors, and White added 21 factors – which included 4 3-pointers within the remaining interval – because the Celtics improved to a league-best 39-12 report. After a primary half that included a number of lazy spurts defensively, the C’s took management defensively within the second half. Saddiq Bey scored 25 factors to guide six Hawks in double figures, however the Celtics restricted Young, Atlanta’s engine, to simply 20 factors on 8-for-25 taking pictures, and by no means let him get comfy down the stretch to drag out this win.
Al Horford had one in every of his finest video games of the season with 14 factors, eight rebounds and eight assists with three blocks because the Celtics overcame below-average taking pictures nights from Jayson Tatum, who scored 20 factors on 2-for-13 3-point taking pictures, and Jaylen Brown, who completed with 15 factors and went scoreless within the second half.