Back in mid-January when the Boston Celtics had a record of 4-8 and many in the organization started to panic; Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was not really concerned. The long time Boston bench-boss said that his team needed three things in order to start winning; getting into NBA shape, practice and familiarity with the new players on the squad. Less than a month later it appears that River’s assessment of his club was spot-on as Boston won their fifth straight game Tuesday night as they defeated the visiting Charlotte Bobcats 94-84.
The Celtics shot 50.6% (41-81) from the floor to get their ninth victory in their last ten contests. Kevin Garnett led five Boston players in double-figures with 22 points while Reggie Williams was the high scorer for the Bobcats with 21 points as his team now has a record of 1-14 in road games.
The score remained close for most of the opening period until the home team broke away in the last 34 seconds of action. Mickael Pietrus drained a trey with two seconds to play and Boston led 27-22 at the conclusion of the quarter. Charlotte came back in the second and would take a two point lead; however every time they did the Celtics would respond and tie the contest. Boston would again pull away down the stretch and as the two teams went to their locker rooms as the game reached the half they held the upper hand with the score 45-38.
The two teams returned to the floor in the third however the Bobcats seemed out of sync from almost the beginning of the period. They trailed the Celtics by double-figures for much of the period although rookie guard Kemba Walker hit a pair at the line with five seconds left to cut their deficit to 69-62 at the conclusion of the quarter. Charlotte never regained their footing in the final 12 minutes and Boston would win the game handily.
Garnett knocked down a game high 22 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in the Celtics victory. Ray Allen had 17 points, 3 assists and 1 steal while Paul Pierce scored 15 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Brandon Bass had another nice game off the bench with 13 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a steal while Rajon Rondo notched a double-double with 10 points, 14 assists and a steal.
Reggie Williams scored 21 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds while Derrick Brown came off the bench with 20 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Walker added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Byron Mullens had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. Boston improves to 14-10 and will host the Lakers on Thursday while Charlotte has a record of 3-21 and they will play host to the Chicago Bulls on Friday.