Garnett has big series clinching game; first since Shaq to have such stats
From Elias: Kevin Garnett had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots on Thursday night, helping the Celtics eliminate the Hawks in the first round. Garnett was the first player to reach those three statistical levels in a series-clinching win since Shaquille O’Neal registered 28 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for the Heat in Game Six of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Pistons.
Josh Smith grabs 16 boards - joins Garnett, O’Neal and Gasol in playoff record books
From Elias: Josh Smith collected a game-high 16 rebounds, helping the Hawks achieve a 41-33 advantage over the Celtics in that category, as Atlanta survived by the minimum margin, defeating Boston, 87-86, in Game Five of their first-round series. Smith has 59 rebounds in the four games in the series in which he has played; his average of 14.8 rebounds per game leads all players on any of the 16 teams in this year’s playoffs.
Smith has had at least 12 rebounds in all four games in which he’s played in the series. The only other players to have a dozen or more rebounds four times in one series when facing Kevin Garnett are Shaquille O’Neal (twice, in 2003 and 2004) and Pau Gasol (in the 2010 NBA Finals).
Josh Smith has solid all-around game, yet the Hawks lose
From Elias: Josh Smith led the Hawks with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in their loss at Boston. Smith was the third player in franchise history to lead the team outright in all three of those categories in a playoff game. The others were Bob Pettit (for the St. Louis Hawks on March 29, 1960 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Boston) and Dan Roundfield (vs. Washington in the 1979 playoffs).
Josh Smith had a big Game 1
From Elias: Josh Smith led the Hawks to a Game 1 win over the Celtics with 22 points, 18 rebounds and four assists. Since the franchise relocated from St. Louis to Atlanta prior to the 1968-69 season, the only Hawks players to equal or exceed Smith’s totals in each of those categories in a playoff game were Bill Bridges (24 points, 22 rebounds and four assists in a loss at Los Angeles on April 20, 1969) and Dan Roundfield (22 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists in loss to the Washington Bullets on April 22, 1979).
Hawks soar to big early lead, set record versus Mavs
From Elias: The Hawks showed the Mavericks early that they had every intention of clinching the #4 seed and a first-round home-court advantage, racing to a 36-13 lead in the first quarter of their victory on Thursday night. It was the largest first-period lead for the Hawks since February 11, 1999 (23 points against the Charlotte Hornets), and the largest against the Mavericks in an even longer time - since San Antonio opened an early 25-point lead over Dallas in November 1997.
Knicks win a three-point shootout
From Elias: The Knicks topped the Hawks, 113-112, in a long-distance shootout that saw New York make 12 of 19 three-point attempts (63.2%) and Atlanta hit 15 of 23 shots from downtown (65.2%). It was the first game in NBA history in which both teams made more than ten three-point field goals while each shot 63 percent or better from beyond the arc.
Joe Johnson sets 30-5-5 record against Celtics
From Elias: Joe Johnson had 30 points, six assists and five rebounds against the Celtics on Friday night. In the past 25 years the only other Hawks players with a 30-5-5 (points-rebounds-assists) game against Boston were Al Harrington in November 2005 and current Celtics coach Doc Rivers in December 1990.
Hawks bench comes up big
From Elias: The Hawks’ bench players combined to score 72 points to help lead Atlanta to a home victory over Detroit on Wednesday night. It is the most points the Hawks’ bench has scored since their subs combined to score 88 points against the Nets on December 4, 1987.
Hawks rookies come up big off the bench
From Elias: Rookie Ivan Johnson came off the bench and contributed 21 points and eight rebounds in Atlanta’s victory over the Raptors in Toronto on Monday night. Johnson is just the second rookie to register at least 20 points and eight rebounds off the bench in a game this season (Derrick Williams on April 11).
Prior to Johnson, the last Hawks rookie with a 20-point, 8-rebound performance as a sub was Spud Webb on February 19, 1986 (21 points and eight rebounds at Utah).