Celtics Fight Back But Fall to Hornets

The Celtics trailed heading into the fourth quarter, fought back, but ultimately couldn't prevail, and they lose to the Hornets, 83-81 in heartbreaking fashion. 

Boston faced a nine-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, but erupted for a 16-0 run to start the final frame to assume a 73-66 lead with 6:27 left to play. 

New Orleans wasn't done, however. A Belinelli three-pointer gave New Orleans the lead back (77-75) with 3:07 left. After Robinson tied things with a fast break layup, Trevor Ariza buried a three-pointer (Pierce covered him as well as we could have hoped for) as the shot clock expired, putting the Hornets up 80-77. Glen Davis then took an ill-advised three-point attempt, which he missed (and drew the ire of Doc Rivers), and then lost West on the defensive end, who buried a jumper to put New Orleans up 82-77. Pierce hit a runner (82-79), the Celtics secured a stop on the defensive end, Ray Allen was fouled in the rebounding process, and then hit both free throws with 21 ticks left (82-81, Hornets). The C's fouled Chris Paul following a timeout (they had a foul to give), and then denied Paul and forced the ball into David West, who hit only one of two free throws with 19.6 seconds left (83-81, Hornets). Down by two, the Celtics fed Pierce at the top of the key, who drove right and almost lost the ball out of bounds, saved it to Ray Allen, who forced a jump shot on the left side and missed, and Chris Paul secured the rebound for New Orleans. 

  • Turnovers hindered the Celtics for the majority of the afternoon/evening. They turned the ball over on their first three possessions, and had already accumulated 17 (according to the telecast) heading into the fourth frame. 
  • The offense was rather helter-skelter through the first three quarters. Boston trailed 23-19 at the end of the first quarter, led 39-37 at halftime, and was promptly outscored 29-18 in the third quarter, even though the C's shot a respectable 10-16 in the frame. Boston finished the game with 16 assists on 34 made baskets. 
  • Great minutes from Marquis Daniels today. He impacted the game in every which way possible. He scored 10 points, grabbed three rebounds, dished out four assists, stole the ball twice, and blocked two shots. 
  • Von Wafer and Luke Harangody both gave Boston solid minutes this afternoon. Wafer was active defensively and on the offensive glass, while Harangody gave his typical energy and was a part of the key run at the start of the fourth quarter (he teamed with Robinson, Allen, Jermaine O'Neal, and Daniels). 
  • Allen scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, with 10 of them coming in the fourth quarter. 
  • Jermaine O'Neal, while not effective every minute he was out there, had perhaps his most productive game since returning from injury. He scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, and had three key blocks on the defensive end. 
  • The Celtics struggled mightily from three-point nation, hitting only three of their 16 field goal attempts (18.8 percent). 
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