Rondo matches Oscar Robertson in playoff triple-doubles
From Elias: Rajon Rondo scored 13 points in a 17-assist, 12-rebound performance in the Celtics’ 92-91 win over the 76ers. It was the eighth postseason triple-double of Rondo’s career, matching Oscar Robertson’s playoff total. Rondo has recorded more triple-doubles over the past four postseasons than all other NBA players combined (7).
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.
Pierce scores 24 points in 16 minutes, first to do so in playoffs since 1954-55
From Elias: Paul Pierce rested through most of the Celtics’ 101-79 romp over the Hawks, but not before scoring 24 points in 16:37 on the floor. Pierce was the first NBA player in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to score as many as 24 points in a playoff game in which he logged fewer than 17 minutes of court time.
Rondo has NBA-leading 7 playoff triple-doubles over last 4 years
From Elias: Rajon Rondo scored 17 points, handed out 12 assists and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Celtics’ overtime win over the Hawks. It was Rondo’s seventh triple-double over the last four playoff seasons, the most in the NBA over that span. LeBron James (four) is the only other NBA player with more than one playoff triple-double since 2009.
Pierce turns back the clock
From Elias: Paul Pierce, 34 years old, had 36 points and 14 rebounds in the Celtics’ win over the Hawks on Tuesday. The only other Celtics players to score 35 or more points in a playoff game at age 34 or older are John Havlicek (twice in 1974, at age 34, including in Game 6 of the NBA Finals) and Sam Jones (in 1968, at age 34).
Celtics-Hawks Game 1, match record from 1951 and 1995
From Elias: The Celtics never recovered from a 31-18 deficit at the end of the first quarter of their Game 1 loss at Atlanta. It was the third time in franchise history that Boston trailed by as many as 13 points at the end of the first period in their playoff opener. The Celtics lost the two previous postseason openers in which that happened, to the Knicks in 1951 (after being outscored 28-14 in the first period) and to the Magic in 1995 (after trailing 30-13 at the end of the first quarter).
Rondo matches assist record from 1969/81/84
From Elias: Rajon Rondo captured the 2011-12 assist title with a flourish, capping his season with a 15-assist performance in the Celtics’ 87-74 win over the Bucks. As if to make a point, Rondo did not score a single point in the game; in fact, he took only one shot (a 27-footer). Only two other players in NBA history recorded at least 15 assists in a game in which they did not score: John Lucas (1981 and 1984) and Hambone Williams (1969).
Celtics defense holds Heat under 70, league-leading 11th time since 2007-08
From Elias: The Celtics held the Heat to 66 points in their victory on Tuesday night. It marked the 11th time since the start of the 2007-08 season that Boston has allowed fewer than 70 points in a game, by far the highest total for any team in the league over that span (next highest: eight by Chicago).
Russell single-handedly revolutionized this game simply because he made defense so important.”
— Red Auerbach, 1964
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.