The AP reports: Takedowns and menacing gestures. Double technicals and flagrant fouls. And the Boston Celtics are heading to Atlanta to try to deliver the knockout punch. Paul Pierce scored a playoff-high 22 points, and Ray Allen turned back the final Hawks’ charge with three 3-pointers in a three-minute span of the third quarter on Wednesday night to help Boston beat Atlanta 110-85 and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The first five games have all gone to the home team, with Game 6 in Atlanta on Friday night… Kevin Garnett scored 20 and Allen had 19 to put the Celtics within a victory of advancing to the second round. Boston got a huge lift from its bench in the second quarter, when Sam Cassell scored nine points and Leon Powe had seven with five rebounds while holding Al Horford to a pair of baskets… Joe Johnson, who erupted for 35 points in Game 4—20 of them in the fourth quarter—scored 21, and Horford had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta. Mike Bibby continued to struggle in Boston, scoring six while recording one assist for the third straight road game… The Celtics took a 58-43 halftime lead, holding Atlanta without a field goal for more than seven minutes before Horford’s putback dunk with 1:05 left in the second quarter. Pierce drove for a layup to start the second half, then Atlanta scored the next 11 points to pull within 60-54.

InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Celtics shot 53.6%, the Hawks just 40.6%. Boston nailed 9-of-20 threes (Ray Allen 5 threes), the Hawks just 4-of-13. The Hawks spent plenty of time shooting free throws, hitting 25-of-29 to Boston’s 11-of-15. Boston controlled the boards and dominated the assists category (Mike Bibby had just 1 assist). For the Celtics, Paul Pierce had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Kevin Garnett had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks. Ray Allen (5-of-8 threes) scored 19. Sam Cassell (6-of-8) scored 13, and Rajon Rondo had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists. For the Hawks, Joe Johnson had 21 points but little else. Josh Smith had 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Al Horford (7-of-11) had 14 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high 5 assists (but 3 turnovers). Marvin Williams had 12 with little else. Mike Bibby shot 2-of-8 for 6 points and more turnovers than assists.