ATLANTA – Al Horford capped his 35th double-double with a key tip-in with 7.9 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Hawks surged in the fourth quarter to beat the travel-weary Boston Celtics 88-83 on Friday night.
The Hawks' lead was only three points when Horford tipped in a miss by Joe Johnson.
Jamal Crawford had 20 points and Johnson had 19 despite making only 4 of 20 shots from the field. Horford had 16 points and 15 rebounds.
The Celtics arrived in Atlanta at 4 a.m. on Friday following Thursday night's 107-97 win at San Antonio. Boston's players appeared to tire late in the game after taking a 60-48 lead in the third quarter.
Paul Pierce led Boston with 25 points. Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks pulled within six points at the end of the third quarter and then tied it at 69-all on three free throws by Johnson early in the final period.
Horford had back-to-back baskets to give Atlanta a 77-73 lead, and a 3-pointer by Johnson pushed the lead to 82-75.
Allen hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 84-81. Glen Davis missed two free throws with 36 seconds remaining. Garnett grabbed the rebound of the second miss but was called for a push-off foul.
Zaza Pachulia, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds, made both free throws for Atlanta to increase the advantage back to five points.
Boston's Jermaine O'Neal played for the second straight night after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He played on Thursday night for the first time since January. He had only one point and one rebound in 15 minutes.
Hawks coach Doc Rivers said he was forced to play O'Neal against the Hawks after backup center Nenad Krstic hurt his right knee on Thursday night. Rivers said he would have tried to rest O'Neal if not for Krstic's injury.
O'Neal said he intended to play both games even before Krstic's injury.
Rivers tried to protect O'Neal, limiting the center to 13 minutes through the first three periods.
NOTES: Krstic was with the team but did not play against the Hawks. He will have an MRI on the knee in Boston on Saturday. ... Boston's Pierce and O'Neal and Atlanta's Pachulia drew technical fouls for two incidents in the first quarter. Pierce drew his technical following a brief altercation with Johnson. Pachulia and O'Neal had to be separated late in the period.