Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett scored 19 points and grabbed 10 boards to lead the Boston Celtics to a 96-77 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Ray Allen finished with 15 points and Paul Pierce contributed 14 points after getting knocked down in the first period.
Rajon Rondo outplayed Hawks‘ Mike Bibby and had another stellar game. Rondo‘s stats were across the boards as he finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals in 34 minutes of action. Bibby, who called the loyal Celtics supporters bandwagon fans, only had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
Bibby was hounded the entire game by the Celtics fans. He was heavily booed every time he touched the ball and non-stop chants of “Rondo’s Better” can be heard throughout the arena. Even when Bibby sat on the bench in the fourth period, the Celtics fans continued to jeer him with “Where is Bibby?” chants.
Josh Smith and Marvin Williams led the Hawks with 13 points apiece. Joe Johnson only had 11 points and had 5 turnovers. Rookie guard Acie Law, who was perfect from the field (4-4) and charity stripe (4-4), chipped in 12 points but committed 4 errors.
The Boston squad turned up their defense for the game. The Celtics forced 21 turnovers, had 15 steals and 3 blocks.