Series tied, 2-2.
GAME 4: ATLANTA 95, BOSTON 104
With a 73-70 advantage heading into quarter number four, Atlanta’s game plan was to ride blazing-hot Paul Millsap for solid looks at the basket on every possession. Millsap was toying with Boston all night long (career-high 45 POINTS, 13 rebounds) – beating slower defenders off the bounce, knocking down treys, and doing damage with hooks and turnarounds down low.
Brad Stevens made a key adjustment in the fourth, placing 6’4 Marcus Smart on Sap to slow him down a bit. Smart, our Star UnderDOG of the Night, held his ground very well (finished with 20 points, 8 boards and 5 dimes off the bench), stopping ATL’s All-Star power forward on a couple plays and hitting game-breaking triples on the other end.
The final two minutes, however, Atlanta switched up the strategy and gave Jeff Teague the green light to let it ride. He converted on back-to-back triples, giving ATL a 2-point lead with 20 ticks left. On the other end, Isaiah Thomas (28 points) knifed in for a nifty lay-up to even things up.
Back and forth. The series’ theme thus far.
After an awful final possession where Teague held (and lost) the ball for 11 seconds, the game would be decided by an extra five minutes.
Boston’s D tightened up considerably as ATL could only muster 3 points. Isaiah Thomas (Top DOG of the Night) effectively tied up the series with this fading trey ball in the corner:
What a shot. What a series.