Celtics pull away in fourth quarter to beat Hornets, 102-91


The Boston Celtics didn’t have their usual second-quarter lulls against Charlotte.

On Wednesday, they saved it for the third quarter. 

Rough quarter aside, the Celtics still managed to deliver in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 102-91 win. 

Boston (28-10) was led by Kyrie Irving who had 21 points while Al Horford had a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds with Jayson Tatum chipping in with 18 points and five rebounds.

The Celtics also got a strong game from Terry Rozier off the bench, scoring 15 points to go with four rebounds. 

Former UConn star Kemba Walker had a game-high 24 points and five assists, with Dwight Howard tallying a double-double of 12 points and 17 rebounds for Charlotte (12-22).

The game took a dramatic turn in the third quarter, as Boston’s lead which peaked at 20 points in the second quarter, was down to just 76-75 going into the fourth. 

The Celtics opened the fourth with a 5-0 spurt and while the Hornets stayed within arm’s distance, they could never come up with the big shot or clutch play defensively to swing the game’s momentum in their favor. 

Credit Boston’s non-stars for playing like stars in their limited roles for helping Boston get the win. 

And it wasn’t just scoring or rebounding, either. 

It was little things such as Marcus Smart sealing off Dwight Howard for Al Horford to drive into the lane for a lay-up that put Boston ahead 95-88 late in the game. 

On an earlier possession, Guerschon Yabusele was running the floor next to Rozier who looked him off, froze the defense temporarily, and finished the play off with a lay-up.

Charlotte came within three points (89-86) in the fourth, but the Celtics went on a 13-5 run to finish the game off. 

The first quarter has usually been good to the Boston Celtics, and tonight’s game was no exception. Boston went to work from the game’s outset, opening with an 8-1 run with Irving assisting on all three of Boston’s made baskets. 

Boston continued to pull away in the first quarter and led 28-16. 

The Celtics continued to pull away in the second quarter, a surprising development considering how bad Boston has been in the second quarter of games. 

They came into tonight’s game ranked dead-last in the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring at 24.0 points per game. 

Boston had that with just under five minutes to play in the second quarter, reaching that mark with a 3-pointer from Shane Larkin.

It was fitting when you consider how well Boston absolutely torched the Hornets from 3-point range. Boston was 11-for-18 on 3’s which puts them well on their way to setting a new season high in made 3s which this season, stands at 17. 

 Irving led all Celtics with 12 points at the half, with Horford trending towards a double-double with 11 points and five rebounds. Shane Larkin gave Boston a nice spark off the bench with nine points. 

Boston led 60-44 at the half.


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