Isaiah Thomas: The Celtics point guard scored a game-high 23 points, 17 in the second half, and had 10 assists and five rebounds.
Jae Crowder: The Celtics forward finished with 13 points on 5 of 14 shooting but scored five straight points during a game-deciding run in the fourth quarter.
Paul Millsap: The Hawks forward finished with 14 points and eight rebounds after scoring 10 first-quarter points.
The Hawks rallied in the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run with Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala doing most of the work. Schroder scored the first seven points and Muscala followed with the next seven. Muscala, who has played sparingly after spraining his right ankle in the season opener, ended a 12-0 Hawks run with his points. The Hawks continued to come back and got as close as three points with 2:50 remaining. However, the Celtics scored the final 10 points.
No doubting Thomas
Thomas turned it on in the third quarter for the Celtics. The 5-foot-9 point guard scored 11 points in the period (on 4 of 8 shooting). He then hit back-to-back corner 3-pointers with seven minutes remaining to end that 12-0 Hawks fourth-quarter run as they pulled within three points, 86-83. The Hawks even defended Thomas with Kent Bazemore in the final minutes.
The Hawks did not start the third quarter the way they started the first. They played with a lack of energy and were turnover plagued. The Celtics outscored the Hawks 35-24 in the third quarter, including a 21-9 run to end the period. The Hawks committed eight turnovers in the third quarter alone.
Poor second quarter
The Hawks had a five-point lead three times in the second quarter but could never get any separation. In fact, the Celtics erased the deficits and took a brief lead before they teams went into halftime tied at 45. For the second quarter, the Hawks shot 8 of 21 from the field (38 percent).
Much better start
The Hawks have struggled out of the gate in recent games. Not Friday. They shot 11 of 20 from the field (55 percent) while holding the Celtics to 9 of 27 from the field (33 percent).