Hawks hand Celtics their third straight first-round playoff exit

BOSTON — The Atlanta Hawks had their best regular season in franchise history spoiled last year by a dismal showing against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals.

They will get another shot at the Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Paul Millsap had 17 points and eight rebounds, and the Hawks advanced to the second round with a 104-92 Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Al Horford and Kent Bazemore each added 15 points for the Hawks, who earned their first playoff series win over Boston since the St. Louis Hawks beat the Celtics in the 1958 Finals.

“Good to finally beat them,” said Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who was on Atlanta’s 2012 team that lost to Boston in the first round. “It feels good.”

The Hawks open the second round on Monday at Cleveland.

The Celtics’ last three playoff appearances have ended in first-round exits.

Coming off a 27-point win in Game 5, the Hawks took advantage of poor shooting by Boston on Thursday, building as much as a 28-point lead.

Atlanta blew the game open with a

Article source: http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=400874416

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