Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Without Rajon Rondo or Ray Allen, Paul Pierce put the Celtics on his back, scoring 36 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead Boston to an 87-80 victory over the Hawks in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup at Philips Arena.
Rondo missed the contest after being suspended for one game by the NBA for making contact with referee Marc Davis with 41 seconds left in the Celtics' 83-74 Game 1 loss Sunday, while Allen missed his 11th straight game with an injured right ankle.
Kevin Garnett recorded 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Rondo's replacement, Avery Bradley, added 14 points to help the Celtics even the best-of-seven series.
Joe Johnson led the way for Atlanta with 22 points and Jeff Teague chipped in 18. Josh Smith added 16 points and 12 boards, but departed the game with a left knee sprain with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Game 3 is slated for Friday in Boston.
The Sports Network