ATLANTA • The Atlanta Hawks scored a crushing 110-83 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday to seize the initiative in their National Basketball Association Eastern Conference first-round play-off series.
Atlanta's Mike Scott top-scored after weighing in with 17 points off the bench as the Hawks hassled the Celtics into 19 turnovers in what rapidly became a rout.
Atlanta now lead 3-2 in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 6 in Boston today (tomorrow morning, Singapore time).
It was a night to forget for Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was jeered at every turn by a fiercely partisan Hawks crowd.
Thomas, who finished with dismal numbers of seven points from 3-of-12 shooting, limped off the court in the fourth quarter after appearing to roll an ankle.
A roller-coaster series has seen Boston repeatedly claw back big deficits to overhaul Atlanta.
But their luck ran out on Tuesday as Atlanta cut loose in the second and third quarters.
The Celtics had started brightly, compiling a healthy 29-19 lead at one point in the first half. But a 28-10 run by the Hawks helped the hosts establish a 47-39 lead at half-time.
Boston attempted to get back into the contest after the break, but Kyle Korver, Scott, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder all drained three-pointers during a frenzied burst of scoring to put Atlanta 22 points clear.
"Sometimes… I'm not aggressive," said power forward Scott, who was a bright spark on 7-of-9 shooting. "Tonight I just saw red."
Boston coach Brad Stevens admitted that Atlanta deserved the win.
"We've seen this team do crazy things," he said.
"They steamrolled us. We came out focused and ready, we just didn't sustain it."