Celtics claim 8th straight win, beat Hawks 126-101

ATLANTA (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 22 points to lead a balanced Boston attack and the East-leading Celtics stretched their winning streak to eight with a 126-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

The Celtics were missing injured guards Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon. It hardly mattered.

There were plenty of players to fill the void against the Hawks, who were coming off a big win at Milwaukee and eager to show they could challenge the best in the conference.

Not on this night.

Boston took control in the irst quarter against the cold-shooting Hawks, whose occasional spurts were quickly snuffed out by the Celtics' stifling defense.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 27 points, but was held to 10-of-23 shooting, including a mere 2 of 7 from beyond the arc.

The Celtics ran right through the home team by showing off their impressive depth.

Even without two key members of their rotation, they shot 54.5% from the field and knocked down 21 3-pointers.

Led by Brown, the Celtics put seven players in double figures. Jayson Tatum had 19, Grant Williams 18, Derrick White 16, Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet 15 apiece, and Payton Pritchard 14.

White also had 10 assists, Kornet went 7 of 7 from the field, and Hauser did all his scoring on a 5-of-6 performance from 3-point range.

The Hawks got a glimpse of what this game would be like in the very first quarter. They connected on just 8 of 24 shots, missing all six of their attempts beyond the 3-point stripe, and quickly fell into a double-digit hole.

The Celtics led by as many as 16 points before the Hawks shaved into the deficit, trailing 62-53 at halftime. But Boston regained control in the third quarter and turned it into a total blowout down the stretch.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Brogdon missed his fourth straight game with an ailing right hamstring, while Smart was ruled out with right ankle inflammation. ... Boston showed off its balance in the first half as Williams, Brown, White, Hauser and Payton Pritchard led the way with nine points apiece. ... Former Hawks C Al Horford led the Celtics with 11 rebounds.

Hawks: Young made his 294th career start, tying Paul Millsap for 17th on the franchise career list. ... Atlanta was held to 18 points in the first quarter, its second-lowest output in a period this season. The Hawks managed only 17 points in the second quarter of a Nov. 10 game against Philadelphia. ... Young has recorded at least one steal in eight straight games, one off his career high. ... With a basket in the final 30 seconds, the Hawks extended their 100-point scoring streak to 36 straight games going back to March 3 of last season.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Play the second of three straight road games when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Hawks: Travel to Toronto on Saturday to face the Raptors.

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Paul Newberry, The Associated Press