No double-digit lead is safe around a guy like Kemba Walker. The Boston Celtics learned that the hard way Monday night, as they fell victim to one of his unstoppable scoring tears.
Boston held a 10-point advantage over the Hornets with a little more than nine minutes remaining at Spectrum Center, but Walker, who was fresh off of a 60-point effort Saturday night, took over the game from there.
From the 9:21 mark in the fourth quarter to the 4:39 mark, Charlotte outscored the Celtics 18-4, turning its 98-88 deficit into a 104-102 advantage. Walker notched all but four of those points, personally outscoring the Celtics 14-4 during that span.
Boston would never regain its lead after that point, as it allowed Walker to score 21 of his game-high 43 points during the fourth quarter, paving the way to a 117-112 Hornets win.
Kemba Walker stole the show with 43 points Monday night, but his counterpart, Kyrie Irving, certainly held down his end of the battle.
The Celtics point guard led his team’s scoring attack with 27 points, while also being the main facilitator. He dished out a season-high-tying 11 assists, which was more than double Walker’s tally of five.
Irving also corralled five rebounds and snagged two steals, while turning the ball over just twice during his 34 minutes of play.
While he may not have matched Walker point for point, Irving still put up a heck of a fight as the leading scorer and facilitator of Boston’s offense.
Box Score Nuggets
- Kemba Walker scored a game-high 43 points, just two nights after dropping a career-high 60 points vs. Philly.
- Jeremy Lamb (18) and Willy Hernangomez (14) were the only other Hornets to reach double figures in scoring.
- The Celtics had six players reach double-figures in the scoring column, led by Kyrie Irving’s 27 points.
- Irving also handed out 11 assists, more than double the total of any other player.
- Al Horford’s three blocked shots equaled Charlotte’s team total in that department.
- The Celtics shot 50.6 percent from the field, including 63.2 percent inside the 3-point arc.
- Boston dished out 31 assists to Charlotte’s 18.
- No player on either team reached double-figures in rebounding. Three players had eight.
- The Celtics had a 22-6 advantage in fast break points.
- Boston also won the battle in the paint, where it outscored Charlotte 52-44.
- Walker scored 21 points on 10 shots during the fourth quarter. The Celtics scored only four more points during that frame while taking twice as many shots.
Quote of the Night
That was a tough one, but we’ve gotta move on. We’ve just gotta make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Marcus Smart on the team’s mindset after the game.
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