BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving just missed his second straight triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Jaylen Brown scored 23 points with a key 3-pointer and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks 129-120 Saturday after blowing a 25-point second-half lead.
Irving had his second career triple-double in a win over Sacramento on Thursday.
It could have been a costly victory for the Celtics after forward Gordon Hayward suffered a strained neck early in the game and didn’t return.
After Boston squandered the 25-point lead, Brown nailed his 3 from the right corner, sparking a 9-0 spurt that gave the Celtics a 121-112 edge with 3 1/2 minutes left.
The Celtics held their big lead late in the third but got just one basket in 7 1/2 minutes – on a three-point play by Tatum – when the Hawks outscored them 28-6 to cut it to 109-106 on Young’s 3-pointer with 7:25 to play.
Atlanta tied it at 112 on Kent Bazemore‘s two free throws.
Boston led by 12 at halftime and went on a 15-3 run midway into the third to push its lead to 103-78 on Irving’s step-back 3-pointer from the left wing.
But Atlanta had a 14-2 spree late in the quarter, slicing it to 105-92.
The Celtics started hot from the floor and were shooting 66.7 percent late in the second quarter when they opened a 16-point lead (66-50). They carried that into a 74-62 edge at intermission, matching their season high for points in any half.