In a bit of a stunner, the Celtics saw their six-game winning streak come to a crashing end on Wednesday night, falling to Austin Rivers and the 12-win New Orleans Hornets 90-78 at TD Garden. After leading 21-10 in the first quarter, the Celts fell apart, getting dominated in the paint by a Hornets' team on the second night of a back-to-back and falling victim a poor shooting performance.
Kevin Garnett led the Celts with 15 points while Jason Terry added 12 off the bench and Paul Pierce chipped in a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics, who shot 46 percent from the floor, were undone by shooting just 6-of-16 from the free throw line and missing 14 of 18 from 3-point range.
The Hornets outscored the Celts 48-32 in the paint, led by their starting frontcourt of Robin Lopez, Al-Farouq Aminu and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, who combined for 45 points and 25 rebounds. The Celtics' rebounding issues were out in full force in this one, as they were outrebounded 48-33 by New Orleans.
Rivers, who'd been struggling mightily coming into this game, celebrated his first career meeting with his father, Celtics' coach Doc Rivers, with eight points in 23 minutes off the bench. Hornets' point guard Greivis Vasquez was tremendous, going for 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in 41 minutes.
The Celts' bench, so vital during the win streak, was mostly a non-factor in this one. Aside from Terry's 12 points, Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green managed just 12 points.
The Celts will look to get back on track against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night at the Garden. For more on this game from the Hornets' perspective, visit At The Hive.