NBA: Atlanta bump Boston from play-offs with Game 6 win

Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks defend a shot by Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics.
Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks defend a shot by Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - The Atlanta Hawks eliminated the Boston Celtics with a 104-92 victory in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals on Thursday at TD Garden.

Paul Millsap had 17 points and eight rebounds, Al Horford and Kent Bazemore each scored 15 for Atlanta, who led by as many as 28 in the second half en route to their first play-off series win over Boston in nearly 60 years.

Kyle Korver had 14 points and nine boards and Jeff Teague added 11.

Atlanta will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, which begins on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Hawks lost all three meetings with the Cavaliers during the regular season by an average of 9.7 points. Cleveland also swept Atlanta when the two teams met in last season's Eastern Conference finals.

Isaiah Thomas had a double-double with 25 points and 10 assists to lead Boston. Joe Crowder finished with 15 points and Marcus Smart and Jonas Jerebko each added 13 for the Celtics.

Boston shot 36.2 per cent (34 of 94) on Thursday and were held to 38.4 per cent (206 of 537) in the series.

The Hawks outscored the Celtics 39-26 in the third quarter and led 89-61 with 9min 51sec remaining, but the Celtics battled back to come within 96-86 on Thomas' floater with 1:48 left.

Atlanta led by as many as six in the first quarter before ending the period up 20-17.

Thomas played the entire first quarter but was held score-less until a driving lay-up with 2:25 left in the frame.

Crowder's dunk with 4:26 left before half-time brought the crowd back to life and pulled Boston within 34-25, but the Hawks stretched the lead to 41-33 entering the break.

Millsap had eight points and five rebounds in the half for Atlanta, who led by as many as 13 in the opening half. Thomas had nine points and five assists to lead Boston.

The Celtics were limited to 27.7 per cent shooting (13 of 47) in the opening half.