The Boston Celtics fended off the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their first-round series on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead, and will now have a chance to close things out at home on Tuesday night in Game 5. While the Celtics were always going to be favorites for this game, they should have an even easier time than expected now that Dejounte Murray is suspended for making contact with an official.
Ahead of Game 5, here's everything you need to know:
(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Atlanta Hawks
- Date: Tuesday, April 25 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: TD Garden -- Boston, Massachusetts
- TV channel: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: Celtics -13; O/U 229.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Celtics: All the Celtics really needed to do was secure a split on the road and they took care of business by holding off the Hawks down the stretch in Game 4. Now, everything is lined up for them to close this series out at home in Game 5, which they should do with relative ease given Murray's absence. Assuming they win, they'll then have a good amount of time off to rest up before starting their second-round showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Hawks: The Hawks couldn't quite get over the hump in Game 4 and faded down the stretch, which put them in a 1-3 series hole. An even bigger problem is they'll have to play without Murray in a must-win Game 5 after he bumped a ref at the end of Game 4 and got suspended for one game. He's been by far the Hawks' best player, and it's hard to see how they make up for the 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists he's been averaging in the series.
The Celtics are going to win, but whether they cover the massive spread is another question. You almost never see double-digit lines in the playoffs, but that's what happens when the clear underdog loses their best player. On the one hand, the Celtics have struggled to maintain big leads, which opens up room for a backdoor cover; on the other hand, the Hawks don't have the talent to compete without Murray and might not have much fight in them. This is a tough call that's probably worth a stay away, but if you have to make a pick it's always safer to choose the better team at home. Pick: Celtics -13