If you were expecting a letdown by the Celtics  after a thrilling last-second victory against the Knicks in New York on Wednesday night — followed by the news that Rajon Rondo  would miss the next two weeks — guess again.
The Celtics had six players score in double figures — including Semih Erden — as they stretched their NBA-best winning streak to 12 games by disposing of the Hawks , 102-90, at the Garden on Thursday night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Another KG double-double: Midway through the third quarter, Garnett had already notched his 14th double-double of the season. He entered the game tied with Amar’e Stoudemire for ninth in the NBA for double-doubles.
Garnett finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds on the night. On the other end, Garnett limited Josh Smith — who is a very, very good NBA player — to just one point and four rebounds. All in all, not a bad night for Garnett.
Pierce & Allen assist: With Rondo sitting out the first of what is expected to be at least two weeks of games, somebody had to make up for his 14 assists a night. Pierce and Allen exceeded that number.
They entered the game averaging a combined 5.8 assists between them. Against the Hawks, Pierce doled out nine dimes and Allen contributed another six. Not to mention their combined 33 points.
Semih-automatic: Say what you will about Semih Erden, but he finishes around the rim. It’s his soft hands. Thursday night’s starting center finished with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting — all within five feet of the basket.
His solid night even included a dunk over Smith , who is one of the top six shot blockers in the league. Still, Erden could work on his rebounding (he had zero as a 7-footer) and free-throw shooting (0-for-2).
WHAT WENT WRONG
Meanwhile, Avery Bradley  actually looked pretty sharp defensively in just four minutes on the floor. Offensively? Bradley was absent, and Robinson finished with 14 points (on 6-of-16 shooting) and four assists.
Cleaning the glass: Somehow, with Smith and Al Horford combining for just 11 rebounds (they average 18 between them), the Celtics still got out-rebounded by the Hawks, 37-34.
Atlanta also snatched 10 offensive rebounds (an ongoing issue for the C’s). Of course, it helps to shoot better than 50 percent — which the Celtics did … once again (53%).
All-Star absentees: First, it was Kevin Durant . Then, it was John Wall . Then, it was Carmelo Anthony. And Thursday it was former Celtics guard Joe Johnson . The list of NBA stars who have been relegated to the bench with injuries when they visited the Garden this season grew by two.