Al Horford hit a huge 3-pointer against his former team and the Boston Celtics broke open a tight game in the closing minutes to finish off the Atlanta Hawks 128-120 on Thursday night for a 4-2 victory in the opening-round playoff series.
The second-seeded Celtics advance to face the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, who’ve been resting since completing their four-game sweep of Brooklyn last Saturday.
Game 1 is Monday night in Boston.
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Boston ripped off an 11-0 run that included three straight 3-pointers, with Horford’s big shot sandwiched around 3s from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Tatum capped the spurt with a dunk, which gave the Celtics a 121-113 lead with 2:07 remaining.
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Brown led the Celtics with 32 points, while Tatum had 30. Horford, who played in Atlanta from 2007-16, chipped in with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
After carrying the Hawks to an improbable victory in Game 5 at Boston, Atlanta’s Trae Young ran out of steam in the second half. He missed 12 of 13 shots over the final two quarters.
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Young had 30 points and 10 assists, but he finished just 9 of 28 from the field.