I am pretty much speechless. The best defensive team in the league has completely forgotten how to play defense on the road. They allowed the Hawks to shoot 48% while only shooting 46% themselves. Once again they were out rebounded by the Hawks as they were in the other 2 losses in Atlanta. The in spite of good contributions from Posey and Powe off the bench, the Celtics' bench was out scored 26-19.
The refs again had a hand in this game as they called Paul Pierce for his 6th foul with 4:44 left in the 4th. It was a terrible call and Pierce let his frustration show by throwing his headband and drawing a technical for it. There were many other suspect calls in this game. The Hawks shot 47 free throws to only 25 for the Celtics although some of that differential was due to the fact that the Hawks continually drove to the basket while the Celtics once again settled for jumpers. But there were also quite a few bad calls that went against the Celtics.
The Celtics didn't seem to have much energy in the 4th quarter and allowed the Hawks to out score them 24-18 in the 4th quarter. Rondo played only 28 minutes tonight and I can't help but feel that that was a mistake. We are a better team with Rondo on the court. The Celtics game could be summarized by the final play where Rondo brought the ball down with 7.4 seconds left and with the Celtics down 3. Instead of setting up one of the 3 point shooters (House, Posey and Ray were all on the court), Rondo took the 3 himself and missed everything to seal the 103-100 victory for the Hawks.
The Celtics had 4 players in double figures as Pierce, KG, Ray, and Perkins all scored in double figures. The Hawks had 6 players in double figures. This was a replay of game 4. The Celtics had a 12 point lead at the end of 1 and allowed the Hawks to fight back into it to trail by only 1 at the half. Then the Celtics held a 3 point lead going into the 4th and then allowed the Hawks to out score them 24-18 in the fourth quarter. The Hawks got all the loose balls and simply played like they wanted it more.
So, we go back to Boston for game 7. It never should have come to this. The Cavs won tonight and will be getting a nice long rest while waiting for the Celtics to close out their series. Let's hope the Celtics once again can find their defense on their home court or we will be left with a lot of time to figure out what went wrong.