Celtics finish off perfect preseason with 108-100 victory over Hornets

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The Boston Celtics’ starters worked up a good sweat, everyone came out of the game healthy and the end-of-the bench players showed great poise in executing in the game’s final minutes. 

There was little for the Celtics to grumble about following a 108-100 win over Charlotte to cap off their preseason schedule with a perfect 4-0 record. 

For most of Wednesday’s game, the last thing anyone anticipated Boston needing was to execute effectively down the stretch, especially the way their Big Three – Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford – played.  

Irving had a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists. Hayward had a nice game, scoring 13 points to go with six rebounds and four assists. 

Al Horford made his presence felt as well, tallying 15 points, 8 rebounds and four assists. 

As for the win, kudos to Shane Larkin who took over in the final minute of play for Boston. 

Larkin’s 3-point play with 45.5 seconds to play, followed by a driving lay-up with 12.7 seconds to play sealed the victory. 

Boston opened the game with a barrage of 3’s which paved the way for a 22-12 start. But the Hornets chipped away at Boston’s lead and trailed 24-20 after the first quarter. For the game, Boston was 16-for-32 on 3’s.

But the Charlotte Hornets used the 3-point shot to get back into the game. 

In fact, a 3-pointer by Charlotte’s Malik Monk put the Hornets ahead 29-28. Monk finished with a game-high 21 points.

But the Celtics responded with a 12-2 run capped off by a Terry Rozier basket that made it a 40-31 game. 

Celtics forward Marcus Morris, who saw action in the first quarter which was his first time on the court with Boston, returned in the second quarter and played primarily with the other starters. 

It was a good look for the Celtics as they went on a 15-5 run that gave Boston a 57-38 lead going into the half. 

Boston continued to pull away, doing so in similar fashion to what we’ve seen in the previous three preseason games. 

Their defense, which Celtics players admitted was ahead of their offensive execution, was solid as ever with players contesting shots, grabbing defensive rebounds and most important, maintaining control of the action.

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