By JONATHAN HENRY, Associated Press NBA fans are used to seeing their teams in white jerseys.
But it is a rarity when the teams are black and the players are black.
It happened Saturday, when the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
It was the first time the teams have played in the arena since the 2011-12 season.
The teams were part of the Western Conference semifinals, which was also their first trip to the conference finals since 2012.
The game started at 11:40 p.m. and was played without any fans.
In a video posted to Twitter by the Atlanta Hawks, the crowd boos the team after they miss the first 10 shots in the first half.
Fans then booed the team in the second half.
The Hawks had the ball in the final seconds of the first quarter when the Hawks missed a 3-pointer from the right corner.
The team tried to rally in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer.
Atlanta went on to win 97-94.
The Celtics and Hawks played in two other games in 2017-18.
In the first game, the Hawks lost 95-94 to the Miami Heat in Atlanta.
In 2017-19, the teams played in six games, two of which were at home.
The Boston Celtics won their first three games at home, including a 102-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 7.
In their last three games, the Celtics have played at least 10 minutes in three of their four games, including five games in which the teams had at least 30 points and a combined total of 70 points.
Atlanta had to overcome a 10-point deficit in the third quarter against Miami to close the game.
Boston’s second-half comeback from a 19-point second-quarter deficit was its biggest of the season.
“They were a very hard-working team,” coach Brad Stevens said.
“We’ve got to find a way to beat them.”
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who is averaging 19.3 points in five games this season, was 2 of 10 from the field in the loss.
Tatum was playing with an ankle injury and said he had been working on it for the last couple of weeks.
“I’m going to try to be more cautious,” he said.
In his first season in Boston, Tatum is averaging 23.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 31.2 minutes per game.
He has averaged 16.3 and 13.4 points in his last two games.
The players were not wearing masks, as they normally do, but the players in the front row were.
The fans booed when Boston shot its first three shots of the game and was down 12 in the quarter.
Boston finished the first four minutes of the quarter on a 20-6 run.
“It was tough to stay focused and just try to get in rhythm,” Celtics guard Jae Crowder said.
Crowder also said he was tired and couldn’t concentrate after the first three attempts.
“Just getting in a rhythm is the key,” Crowder added.
The first half ended when Boston led 54-51 at the half.
“You can’t really ask too many more than that,” Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said.
Boston led 61-49 at the break.
Boston started the second quarter with a 15-2 run, but couldn, too, as the Hawks cut it to 67-62 on a 3 by Garnett.
“He’s getting the ball to guys,” Celtics coach Brad Miller said.
The two teams battled for a bit in the opening minutes of this season.
Celtics forward Amir Johnson scored 15 points, including four 3-pointers in the closing minutes of regulation.
Boston was up 62-51 when Garnett made a jumper at the buzzer to tie the game at 62.
Boston had the final two points when Johnson missed a layup and he then hit two free throws.
Johnson said he did not want to go into this game thinking about the final score, and that the team has to keep winning.
“That’s the best part of this game is when you win, you keep fighting,” Johnson said.
Celtics guard Kyrie Irving scored 21 points for the Hawks, who were without two key players in Kevin Love and Jae Crowden.
“Obviously we have a lot of injuries, but that’s what we have to deal with and try to play with that mindset,” Celtics rookie Kyle Korver said.
Korver is shooting a career-best 43.9 percent from the floor this season and is second in the NBA in scoring at 15.6 points per game, behind Love.
“At the end of the day, you can’t look back, and you can definitely never look forward,” Korver added.
“The game is so much more than just basketball, and it’s not about winning games.
It’s about having fun, and being together as