Celtics close out Hawks to advance


Posted at May 11 2012 03:27 PM | Updated as of May 11 2012 11:27 PM

The Boston Celtics advanced to the second round with a last-gasp home win over the Atlanta Hawks to close out their series 4-2.

Kevin Garnet scored a game-high 28 points along with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Celtics broke Hawks' hearts with their late flourish.

Trailing 76-79, Boston took control with a Paul Pierce layup, a Garnett turnaround jump shot and a Ray Allen free throw followed by two Pierce free throws while Atlanta missed several late scoring chances.

Pierce ended up with 18 points and guard Rajon Rondo with 14 as Boston narrowly outshot Atlanta by a percentage of 41.9 to 41 from the field.

Forward Josh Smith led the way for the Hawks with 18 points while guard Joe Johnson contributed 17. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)