ATLANTA — The sight of confetti is typically a welcome one at the end of a basketball game — not during it.
But with just more than a minute remaining in the first quarter of Sunday’s opening-round playoff game between the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, there was a brief pause because so much of it fell from State Farm Arena’s rafters.
Several pieces of small, white paper appeared to drop early in Game 4 from the large video board that hangs above the court. Some of it descended into the crowd and bench areas, but enough got onto the floor that officials called timeout with 1:19 remaining.
A two-minute delay ensued as arena officials cleared out the pieces that hit the court. A few pieces of confetti continued to fall at the start of the second quarter, but not enough to address.
Immediately following Friday’s Game 3 Hawks win, long red streamers descended from the arena’s ceiling as Atlanta celebrated its first victory in the playoff series. Boston took a 2-1 series lead into play Sunday.
This isn’t the first time in recent seasons the Celtics have had a playoff game delayed by prematurely falling confetti. At the start of overtime of a 2018 game between the Celtics and 76ers in Philadelphia, confetti fell to the floor after Marco Belinelli hit what proved to be a game-tying shot.
That game was delayed over seven minutes as the court was cleared.