May 6th NBA Playoffs Picks and Tips: Atlanta vs Boston Game 4
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Rajon Rondo made his presence felt in his return from suspension and seeks another memorable performance when the Boston Celtics host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference series on Sunday.
Rondo etched his seventh career playoff triple-double to fuel a 90-84 overtime victory on Friday as the Celtics took a 2-1 lead. Atlanta forward Josh Smith remains questionable with a knee injury after missing Game 3. Boston has won the last two games.
Atlanta Hawks : Atlanta was so shorthanded in the frontcourt in Game 3 that Tracy McGrady spent most of his season-high 41 minutes playing power forward and center Erick Dampier racked up more than 22 minutes after playing less than 10 minutes total over the final five-plus weeks of the season. Joe Johnson (29 points) and Jeff Teague (23) did their best to rally the Hawks in the fourth quarter, but Boston was stronger in the overtime. “There were a few possessions it seemed no one could score,” Johnson said. “We definitely felt like we let one get away. We felt like this was our chance to get one.”
Boston Celtics : Rondo had 17 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals in a terrific performance. Rondo has 20 career triple-doubles and Boston has a 19-1 record in those contests. Jason Kidd (11) is the only active player with more career playoff triple-doubles. Rondo also scored Boston’s first four points of overtime in his return from a one-game suspension for bumping official Marc Davis. “I felt good about all the shots I took,” Rondo said. “My teammates told me to stay aggressive.” Paul Pierce hit all 14 of his free-throw attempts and scored 21 points and Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Pierce will play in his 109th playoff
game Sunday, tying Bob Cousy and Dennis Johnson for 10th on Boston’s all-time
2. McGrady scored 10 of his 12 points in Game 3 in the second quarter before tweaking an ankle and later returning.
3. Boston guard Ray Allen (ankle) had 13 points in his first outing since April 10.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Celtics 95, Hawks 87
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