BOSTON - Not this time.
Back on Jan. 25, the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 27 down and beat the Boston Celtics in double overtime. Friday night, the Hawks again came back, this time from 12 down with 6 ½ minutes left.
The Celtics, getting huge play from Paul Pierce and the last five points in overtime from Jason Terry, downed the visitors 107-102 for their fifth win in a row.
The victory, Boston's ninth straight at home, was also Boston's 14th in 18 games since losing Rajon Rondo for the season to a knee injury; and also pulled the Celtics into a tie with the Hawks for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams are 34-27, a half-game behind fifth-place Chicago.
Pierce, who had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, scored five points in the OT, but it was his drive to the basket and kick-out to Terry that resulted in Terry hitting a 3-pointer with 1:05 left to break a 102-102 tie.
"Jason really stepped up," said Pierce. "We count on him late in games even if he doesn't get the shot, he's such a threat late in games that you can't come off of him.
"He's hit so many big shots throughout his career, he understands the moment and that's why he's here."
Said Garnett: "I thought Paul and J.T. in overtime were great, even in the fourth quarter."
After an Atlanta turnover, Terry, who had 19 points and did a great defensive job on shooter Kyle Korver off the bench, was fouled in the act with 9.9 seconds left and put the game on ice with two free throws. For good measure, Terry also grabbed the rebound of an Al Horford miss in the closing seconds, as the Hawks lost for the first time in five overtime games and the Celtics, setting a club record with their 11th OT game, improved to 7-4 in extra time.
"I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of 11 OT games out of the 61 the team has played. "The good part is that we're winning them; a lot of those overtimes you feel like we shouldn't have gone into the overtime."
Garnett had 17 points and eight rebounds as the Celtics, who eliminated Atlanta in the first round of last year's playoffs, overcame 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds by Josh Smith, who also had five turnovers, including a big one in overtime, where the Hawks coughed it up three times.
"I think that (the turnovers) just killed us," said Horford, who delivered 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Jeff Teague 26 points and nine assists. "We can't turn the ball over."
Korver, the league's 3-point percentage leader coming in, stung the Celtics with eight treys the last time the teams played. In this game, he was just 1-for-5 from the floor, though he hit a tying 3-pointer late in regulation.
While the Hawks went 9-for-27 from 3-point range, the Celtics countered with 10-for-20.
"You know, against a team like Boston you just can't have many breakdowns," said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. "We just had too many of them at crucial moments where we didn't get to shooters. Our coverages, for the most part were OK but in the crunch time situations we just had, I thought to many breakdowns in crucial moments of the game."
Jeff Green had 11 points for the Celtics, including a 3-pointer from the left corner in overtime that hit the rim, bounced up and dropped through, giving Boston a one-point lead after the Hawks scored the first four points of the OT.
The Boston bench outscored its Atlanta counterpart 46-8 as the Celtics took a 2-1 lead in the season series.
"We're playing for something, we're trying to get better," said Garnett. "We trying to jell as a team ... we're pushing the limits.
"We're working hard. We haven't given in to [bleep] critics. We're working hard. We're grinding. We're showing our character."
NOTES: Newcomer Jordan Crawford had nine points and two rebounds in 15 minutes off the Boston bench. "Jordan has been playing fantastic for us," said Rivers. ... With Zaza Pachulia (Achilles, missed third straight game) and Ivan Johnson (personal reasons) out, the Hawks gave 7-footer Johan Petro his first start of the season (he had two points and four rebounds in 17 minutes). Swingman DeShawn Stevenson, a 13-year veteran, got the night off so he can guard Brooklyn's Joe Johnson in the second half of Atlanta's back-to-back at home Saturday. ... Garnett, who hit his first 3-pointer of the season at Indiana Wednesday night, hit another one in the first quarter Friday. ... The Celtics open another two-game trip at Oklahoma City Sunday. ... Garnett, who just cracked the NBA's all-time rebounding top 10 (the achievement was recognized during the first timeout Friday), needs 19 points to pass Jerry West for 15th place on the all-time scoring list. Pierce needs 31 points to pass Charles Barley and hit the NBA's all-time top 20. ... The bigger-than-expected snowstorm wasn't bad enough to significantly keep the crowd down. ... Patriots star Rob Gronkowski was in the crowd.