Celtics no strangers to blowing big leads vs Hornets


You never anticipate a huge lead dissolving, but the Boston Celtics were definitely in “been there, done that” mode when their 20-point lead at Charlotte was down to just a single point, 76-75, going into the fourth quarter. 

Boston began the fourth with a 5-0 spurt, and never relinquished control of the game as they went on to win 102-91 over the Hornets. 

“Every time we’ve been here, anytime we’ve had a lead they’ve come back to take the lead or cut it to one,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “So, you know there’s a run that’s going to happen. You hope to manage it better than we did; that’s the NBA.”

In Boston’s 104-98 win at Charlotte on October 29, the Celtics led by as many as 14 points with four minutes to play before holding on for the win. 

When they met in Charlotte again on April 8, Boston led by as many as 19 points only to fall behind by as many as seven (104-97) in the fourth. Boston would win 121-114 behind a 21-10 run over the final 6:37 of play. 

“They kind of have a history of that, especially with us I feel like,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “Last year we were in a similar situation and gave us a tough game. Coach (Stevens) said it at halftime and it happened again. Credit to them, they kept fighting. We just found a way.

Horford added, “We stayed together, we stayed focused and we just needed to build it back up. I felt like we stayed in the moment; we did a good job of that. Some guys stepped up and made plays when we needed to.”

Here are five other takeaways from Boston’s 102-91 win at Charlotte on Wednesday night. 



He doesn’t usually play a ton of minutes for Boston, but Larkin continues to make the most of whatever time on the floor he’s given. He had 11 points against Charlotte, including a trio of three-pointers. But just as important, his defense on Kemba Walker was better than any other Celtic player which played a major role in him logging 24-plus minutes, and led to Walker scoring 24 points on 9-for-22 shooting. 



The inside-outside game of Al Horford was as good as we’ve seen it in his time as a Celtic. There was a heightened level of assertive play on his part when he was around the basket as well as when he was around the 3-point line. He tallied his first 20-point, 10-rebound game as a Celtic by finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds.



Just a few weeks ago, there was no better rebounding team in the NBA than the Boston Celtics. You had a feeling they would drop a few pegs afterwards, but they are in the kind of free fall that hasn’t shown any tangible signs of being turned around anytime soon. That said, they continue to do enough to come away with victories despite having too many games like Wednesday’s win over Charlotte in which they were out-rebounded by a pretty sizeable margin (52-43).



Of course you’re not going to shoot as many free throws as the Hornets because of the foul magnet himself, Dwight Howard. But the free throw attempt margin between Boston and opponents continues to be way, way too wide with Wednesday’s game being the 11th time in Boston’s last 12 games in which an opponent had more free throw attempts. The Hornets were 20-for-29 from the free throw line while the Celtics made all 13 of their free throw attempts.



It was the 3-point shot in the first quarter that really gave Boston that early edge they needed in order to knock off the Hornets. For the game, Boston was 15-for-34 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range which is impressive. Boston has now made 185 three-pointers this month which is a franchise record, breaking the previous mark of 179 set last season.

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