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January 1, 2014

Celtics come up one point short

BOSTON (AP) — When shots weren’t falling for Atlanta during a woeful start to the second quarter, the Hawks started going inside to Paul Millsap and never stopped.

Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics yesterday afternoon.

Jeff Teague scored 16 points and Kyle Korver added 14 for Atlanta.

“At the beginning of the game it wasn’t really what they were doing. It’s what we didn’t do. We didn’t execute well. We didn’t share the basketball like we normally do,” said Millsap, who had his best game for the Hawks since signing as a free agent in the offseason. “When we settled down, got stops and moved the basketball around, everybody got in a groove.”

The Hawks barely made one third of their shots, going 33 for 91, but Millsap was nearly unstoppable inside. He was 12 for 14 from the field and forced his way to the foul line, where he made 10 of 14 free throws.

“We were able to find a way to win a game where we weren’t able to shoot well from the perimeter, from the basket, really from anywhere except for Paul Millsap,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Boston pulled away on a 19-4 run to start the second quarter, but Atlanta closed the period on a 15-0 run and set up a back-and-forth finish.

“We started off the game so terribly. We just couldn’t find any kind of rhythm and they had us totally out of synch,” said Korver, who extended his NBA record streak of games with a 3-pointer to 101. “We were dead in the water there for a little while. We just felt like we couldn’t get anything going. We got a little momentum and were able to carry that over to the second half.”

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