ATLANTA (AP)—The Atlanta Hawks finally closed out a win.
The Hawks scored eight of the game’s last 11 points Tuesday night to beat the Boston Celtics 93-88 and end a seven-game losing streak.
Twelve of Shareef Abdur-Rahim’s 25 points came in the last four minutes as the Hawks showed they paid attention to points made by Coach Terry Stotts in a long practice Monday.
“It must have been a three-hour practice, especially about the last two minutes of the game,” Hawks guard Jason Terry said.
Added Dion Glover: “He just kept putting two minutes on the clock and putting us through it.”
The Hawks have lost seven games this season after holding leads in the last five minutes. With Abdur-Rahim scoring 10 points in the final minute, this time it was the Hawks who rallied after trailing the entire first half.
“We just dug in,” Abdur-Rahim said. “We came out of the locker room after halftime and got after it.”
The losing streak was the Hawks’ longest since they lost 10 straight in 2001. They haven’t won back-to-back games this season.
The Hawks trailed 50-38 at halftime but scored the first 11 points of the second half.
“We should have put that team away,” said Boston’s Paul Pierce, who was held to 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting. “That’s what happens when you don’t put teams away.”
Said Celtics coach Jim O’Brien: “We got outworked by the Hawks in the second half. They came out ready to play and we came out flat. We pretty much remained flat for most of the second half.”
“Pierce missed some open ones, but I thought we made him take tough shots,” Stotts said. “I thought both Boris and Jackson did a good job on him.”
Pierce was held without a field goal until the final minute of the first half, but reserves Walter McCarty and Marcus Banks helped pick up the scoring slack. Boston’s bench players contributed 23 points in the half.
Pierce, fifth in the league with an average of 24.0 points per game, missed his first six shots before making his first basket on a dunk with 53 seconds left in the first half.
McCarty led Boston with 16 points.
Pierce wasn’t the only Boston player to have an off night. Vin Baker was 2-for-11 from the field and finished with six points.
“It’s been a long, long time since I had a game like that one,” Baker said. “I couldn’t shoot it. I had some good looks at the basket. The ball just didn’t go in for me.”
Atlanta finally pulled even for the first time in the third quarter at 54-54 on a 3-pointer by Jackson. In all, there were nine ties and seven lead changes. The last tie, at 85-85, came with 1:53 left to play.
The Hawks kept finding Abdur-Rahim near the basket in the final minutes, and the Celtics kept sending the forward to the free throw line.
Glover scored 18 points and Jackson added 16 for Atlanta, which won for the first time since beating Denver on Dec. 9.
As the result of heightened national security concerns, the doors to Philips Arena opened 30 minutes earlier than normal before the game as each fan waschecked by metal-detecting wands.
Glover was back in the lineup after missing one game with the flu. Backup guard Boris Diaw returned after missing six games with a sprained ankle. … McCarty, averaging only 5 points per game, scored in double figures for thefourth time in the last five games for Boston.