Notebook: Bobcats 94, Celtics 91



Posted Feb 11, 2013 11:35 PM

By Bill Kiser, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Byron Mullens had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats rallied from a four-point deficit in the final two minutes to beat the Boston Celtics 94-91 on Monday night at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

Ramon Sessions added 19 points, including a 15-foot jumper with 26 seconds left that put the Bobcats (12-39) ahead to stay and end their seven-game losing streak.

Jeff Green had 18 points and Kevin Garnett added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics (27-24), who saw their seven-game winning streak end with their first loss against Charlotte in the past five games -- dating back to the 2010-2011 season.

QUOTABLE: "This was a very good win for us, especially with the Celtics coming in with a very good win streak. For us to buckle down and come up with the win reminded me of the first 10 or 15 games of the season, when we were winning games that were decided by four or six points. We are just getting back to that. Hopefully we can keep it up."

--Bobcats center Byron Mullens

THE STAT: While the Celtics led by as many as nine points during Monday night's game, they never could sustain the lead or put the game away -- a likely result of tired legs from Sunday's triple-overtime win over the Denver Nuggets. Likewise the Bobcats, who led by as many as five points in the third quarter. That led to a game with 13 lead changes and 11 ties.

TURNING POINT: Garnett's jumper with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter put the Celtics up 91-87. But Gerald Henderson, who finished with 16 points, hit a 3-pointer 71 seconds later to pull the Bobcats within a point. Sessions' jumper, wide open after Boston defender Avery Bradley slipped, then put Charlotte ahead. Kemba Walker, who had 18 points, then iced it with a pair of free throws with 14.8 seconds left.

QUOTABLE II: "The last six plays, what we needed was perfection and we got it. Kemba hit his free throws ... Ramon hits and Gerald's 3 gave us life. It was good to see the execution on both sides, not just on offense. Actually, the defense is what made the difference coming down the stretch."

--Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap

HOT: Mullens had his best all-around game since returning from a last week 19-game absence for a severly sprained ankle. His 18 rebounds were a career high, bettering his 17-rebound effort against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 18, 2012. His 25 points were two off his season best (27 points against the Washington Wizards on Nov. 24, 2012).

QUOTABLE III: "The last time out, I had just three rebounds. I think I made up for that tonight. ... the 18 rebounds, I'd rather have that than 25 points. That's [not] what I'm known for, [so] I want to show the league and our organization that I can rebound."

-- Byron Mullens

NOT: After Garnett's jumper, the Celtics missed their last six field goal attempts, including late 3-point attempts by Paul Pierce (13 points, eight assists) and Bradley (eight points), who had combined to go 1-for-6 on 3s Monday.

GOOD MOVE: Dunlap went with a defense-strong lineup of Mullens, Walker, Henderson, Jeffery Taylor and Bismack Biyombo in the final 25 seconds against the Celtics. The Bobcats' defense forced three of Boston's missed field goals, and came up with a pair of defensive rebounds.

QUOTABLE IV: "We took out time down the stretch, and played some good team defense. Defense is what wins games in this league. Down the stretch, we really just came together. We were in all the right spots, and we were talking. That's the biggest thing, communication. Down the stretch, that's when you need it the most."

--Bobcats guard Kemba Walker

NOTABLE: Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa went out of Monday's game late in the third quarter with an injured left knee. He went down during a battle under the Boston basket with less than 30 seconds left in the period, and had to be carried off the court by his teammates. His status for the Celtics' next game was unknown. "At this point, we really don't know what's going on," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We think it's the knee, but he will travel back with us and do an MRI in the morning."

UP NEXT: For the Celtics, Wednesday vs. Bulls, Feb. 19 @ Nuggets, Feb. 20 @ Lakers. For the Bobcats, Wednesday @ Pacers, Feb. 19 @ Magic, Feb. 20 vs. Pistons.