Boston Celtics

Celtics-Hawks takeaways: C's can't contain Dejounte Murray in OT loss

Murray dropped 44 points on 44 shots, including the overtime game-winner.

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The Boston Celtics failed to avenge Monday's deflating loss to the Atlanta Hawks, falling in overtime of a thrilling rematch at State Farm Arena.

It was a hard-fought matchup between the well-rested C's and a Hawks team playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Thursday night's game featured a whopping 41 lead changes and 14 ties. The Celtics led by three with under a minute to go in regulation, but Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic drilled a game-tying 3-pointer and Jayson Tatum missed what would have been the game-winner, sending the game into OT.

In the extra period, Boston again pulled ahead late but couldn't finish Atlanta off. Jaylen Brown put his team ahead with 6.2 on the clock, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray hit a midrange jumper with 0.1 remaining to seal a 123-122 Hawks victory.

It's only the third time the C's have lost back-to-back games this season. These last two losses undoubtedly hurt the most as they included a blown 30-point lead and a crushing OT defeat.

Murray ended up with a career-high 44 points on a wild 18-for-44 from the field. Bogdanovic and De'Andre Hunter added 24 and 21 points respectively

All five Celtics starters scored in double figures in the loss. Tatum led the way with 31 points.

The Celtics' (57-16) road trip continues with a Saturday evening matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans (44-28). First, here are three takeaways from Thursday's game.

Hawks take advantage of second chances

The Celtics' lackluster effort on the offensive boards proved costly.

Atlanta dominated the glass throughout the game. It had nine first-half offensive rebounds to Boston's three as well as a 13-2 second-chance points advantage. That trend continued in the second half and came back to haunt the C's in the fourth quarter.

With 26.7 seconds remaining in regulation, the Hawks tallied another offensive rebound, which resulted in Bogdanovic hitting the 3-pointer that forced overtime.

That sequence perfectly summed up the Celtics' struggles. Atlanta dominated the offensive rebounds 17-9 and notched 28 second-chance points to Boston's 11. That was the game.

Dejounte Murray takes over

Murray put up a Kobe Bryant-like stat line in a bizarre but memorable performance on Thursday night.

The All-Star guard wouldn't stop shooting from the opening tip to the final buzzer. He put up 44 shots, the most attempts against the Celtics since Bryant (47) in 2002.

A handful of Murray's 18 makes came when it mattered most. He drilled three midrange jumpers on Atlanta's first three OT possessions. He added a 3-pointer, then made his biggest shot of the night with 0.1 left in OT.

Murray finished with a career-high 44 points, seven assists, and two steals. It wasn't the most efficient night, but he and the Hawks will gladly take the final result.

Jaylen Brown does his part

Boston's loss spoiled a solid all-around effort by Brown.

During the third quarter, Brown made his presence in his hometown Atlanta on the defensive end. He had a three-minute stretch of hustle plays, including a steal and two emphatic blocks.

Later, Brown made noise with a massive dunk on former C's teammate Bruno Fernando:

Brown stepped up for the C's offensively in crunch time. He drilled a clutch shot with 40 seconds left in regulation to extend Boston's lead to three. In overtime, he hit what would have been the game-winner with 6.2 seconds left, but Murray stole the show with his last-second shot.

Nonetheless, Brown was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating loss. He ended up with 18 points (9-17 FG), four assists, two blocks, and two steals.

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