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NBA -- ​Celtics slip past Hornets, 98-93


PhilBoxing.com




CHARLOTTE -- Coming off a heartbreaking double overtime loss a night before against league leader Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics showed resiliency and managed to pull out a thrilling victory over the Charlotte Hornets, 98-93.

Avery Bradley led all scorers with 23 points including 4-out-of-6 three point ​range, ​​while his backcourt partner, Isaiah Thomas​,​ contributed 21 points and a career​-​high 13 assists.

The game was tight all the way as both teams struggled early. The lead changed hands 14 times and the game was tied six times.

"Both teams were a little tired, I thought in the first half. Then we went on a run and they went on theirs and we made a lot of good plays late", Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens said. "We've been awfully good on the second night of back to backs for whatever reason, on the road, so we have a lot of confidence that if we struggle early, we're going to find that second wind. We enjoy the challenge", the 39 year old coach added.

The Celtics found their bearings in the third quarter and led by as many as 12 as they made ​seven​ three pointers, courtesy of Bradley, Thomas and Jae Crowder.

"Some guys could say we played a double overtime game, we're tired and we're hurting, but we came out tonight no matter what. We wanted to win, that shows a lot about the team", Bradley said.





With the score at 96-93 in favor of the Celtics and 6.6 seconds left in the regulation, the Hornets called timeout to set up a play. Nic Batum then airballed a potential game tying 30 footer, leaving the home crowd of 18,490 dumbfounded. "They put up a zone defense, I tried to get open and try to shoot the ball and my last shot was off."

Despite leading the Hornets with 21 points (9 out-of 21 FGs), Batum took responsibility for the loss. " My shots were off all night long. It was on me tonight, on offense and defense. If I want to be the player I need to be on this team, I need to do better than that."

Boston had only 5 turnovers, a season low. They also had an advantage in points in the paint, 42-28. Crowder had 16 points while David Lee added 10 points off the bench for the 14-10 Celtics.

Kemba Walker finished with 16 points and Cody Zeller added 12 points for the Hornets.

Charlotte's bench outscored Boston's 36-28 led by Jeremy Lin, providing the spark with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks while Spencer Hawes chipped in 10 points and 8 boards. With the loss, the 14-9 Hornets snapped their four game winning streak.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Biasbas.


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