The Hawks did it again.
For the second consecutive night Atlanta rested several starters and still won going away. This time it was Boston that was run out of its own arena against a less-than-complete opponent.
The Hawks led by as many as 19 points, despite Al Horford and Kyle Korver watching in street clothes, en route to a 105-91 victory at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
The list of accomplishments for the NBA’s hottest team gets more impressive with each victory.
The Hawks (31-8, 15-5 road) have:
- Won 10 consecutive games for their longest win streak since they started the 1997-98 season with 11 consecutive victories;
- Won 10 consecutive games on the road, improving on their franchise record;
- Won for the 24th time in the past 26 games as they have lost just twice since Nov. 28;
- Won three in a row against the Celtics, including two this season.
“You have to give credit to the bench,” DeMarre Carroll said of the Hawks’ past two victories. “That shows you the beauty of our team. We’ve got a lot of guys who can play. That is what we expect. These guys work just as hard and when their opportunity came they took advantage of it.”
The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks continue make believers of those around the NBA. Boston coach Brad Stevens called the Hawks “elite” prior to the game.
Then the Hawks went out and proved it.
The remaining three starters, all of whom sat out Tuesday’s victory at Philadelphia, carried the Hawks. Carroll (22), Jeff Teague (22) and Paul Millsap (18) combined for 62 points. Millsap also had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Mike Scott added 11 points off the bench.
“They stepped up to the occasion,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “When you are feeling fresh and healthy and in attack mode, all three of them, it’s really positive. They can score in different ways and impact the game in different ways.”
The Celtics (13-24) were led by Avery Bradley with 17 points. The Celtics used a 13-4 fourth-quarter run to pull within nine points, 89-80, before the Hawks regained control with a 12-2 run. The Celtics’ biggest lead of the game was just two points.
The Hawks outscored the Celtics 33-21 in the second quarter to break the game open. They took a 57-45 lead into halftime after a 9-2 run to end the quarter. The Hawks also had a 12-0 run in the period.
Teague had 14 points in the first half. Carroll had 10 points, including eight in the first quarter. Pero Antic had three steals, setting a career-high in just two periods.
“That was big for our team,” Teague said of the two wins while resting all five starters. “Guys stepped up when they got a chance to experience a little more playing time. We needed that.”
The Hawks took an 89-74 advantage into the final quarter.
The 3-point shot was again a weapon for the Hawks. The Hawks were 10 of 29 from long range with six different players connecting. Carroll had three and Teague and Shelvin Mack had two each.
“We are happy to grow and develop,” Budenholzer said. “Guys get different opportunities. Different players are put in different situations. To find a way to win on the road is always good. I think where we just want to continue to grow and develop and get better. On a night like tonight, we did that. I think last night we did that. Going forward, we have to continue.”
The Hawks continue a four-game trip in Toronto on Friday.
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