The Boston Celtics notched a pivotal Game Five victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, 110-85, thanks to a very solid performance in the first half.
Paul Pierce led with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and Rajon Rondo tallied 12 points and 7 dimes in the win for Boston, who hit 53% of their shots and outrebounded Atlanta by eleven at home.
Joe Johnson starred for the Hawks with 21 points, while rookie Al Horford added 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the defeat.
Atlanta shot just 40% from the floor and turned the ball over four more times than Boston.
Kevin Garnett and Johnson were whistled for technical fouls late in the third quarter for jawing at one another following a questionable foul that was called on Pierce.
Things started to get intense towards the end of the second quarter when Horford flagrantly fouled Garnett.
Josh Smith received a technical foul in the final minutes of the loss, and coach Mike Woodson promptly removed his stars to avoid the risk of injury or suspension.
Game Six will be held in Atlanta on Friday night as the Celtics look to move on into the second round.