Jaylen Brown scored 29 points as the Celtics beat the Hawks 112-99 in Game 1.


The Celtics

The Celtics led by as many as 32, but the Hawks rallied in the second half before putting Boston away for good.

Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics in Game 1. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Jaylen Brown had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics took advantage of the Atlanta Hawks’ poor shooting performance to win 112-99 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. SATURDAY.

Jayson Tatum scored 25 points, including 21 in the first half. Derrick White finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which hosts Game 2 on Tuesday.

The No. 2 Celtics scored 32 points, hitting an Atlanta team that missed its first 10 3-point attempts and shot 5 of 29 from beyond the arc for the game.

Atlanta used a 32-12 run to cut the deficit to 96-84 on a three-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic early in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics lead 107-87. It was 110-97 with less than two minutes remaining when Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter broke free on a fast break. But his layup was blocked by Marcus Smart from behind.

Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Trae Young added 16 points.

Despite Atlanta’s late push, the Celtics connected on 13 3-pointers from every spot on the floor.

After hitting his third 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half, Tatum threw his arms wide as he walked down the court to a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd.

A big part of Boston’s game plan was neutralizing Young and Murray, Atlanta’s top two scorers. The Celtics did that and more in the first three quarters.

Young, who was 10th in the NBA in scoring, missed his first six shots from beyond the arc and was 5 of 18 from the field. Murray was 10 of 25 from the floor.

To match Atlanta’s speed, Boston went small at first, with Al Horford, Tatum, Brown and Smart replacing big man Robert Williams with White.

That seemed to defuse the Hawks offense.

The beginning of youth was very difficult. He threw a pass on the first possession of the game on a steal by Brown and saw a first down interception by White before missing his first six shots.

Atlanta coach Quin Snyder said before the game that it was important not to give up or miss open 3s.

That desire was tested as the Hawks shot 9-of-25 from the field and 0-of-9 from beyond the arc in the opening period, leading the Celtics 29-19.

With Young struggling, Boston found a rhythm early in the second quarter, opening the quarter with a 25-10 run that led to as many as 25.


Hawks: Outscored the Celtics 31-20 in the third quarter. … Young’s 28-footer early in the second quarter was Atlanta’s first 3 of the game. Atlanta shot 1 of 16 from 3 in the first half.

Celtics: This was Brown’s first game since missing the last two games of the regular season after cutting his finger. He played around with tape and film, but it didn’t seem to work for him. … Outscored the Hawks 45-25 in the second quarter. … Tatum scored 13 points in the first quarter. … The seats inside TD Garden are covered in T-shirts that read “Unfinished Business,” a reference to Boston’s NBA Finals run last season that ended with a loss to Golden State. The unfinished “I” and “S” are both distinguished, with the “S” resembling an “8,” a nod to the 18th championship the franchise is seeking. … Many Boston sports stars sat on the field, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Bruins players David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm and Jake DeBrusk and former Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia.

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