Notebook: Hornets 87, Celtics 86

Posted Mar 20, 2013 11:59 PM

Bradley Handwerger, for

THE FACTS: Anthony Davis tipped in a missed Eric Gordon runner and the New Orleans Hornets pulled off an 87-86 come-from-behind win over Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

Down 13 early in the third quarter, New Orleans went on a 31-9 run, taking a lead that set up the finish, which helped the Hornets break a four-game losing streak. Davis, fighting a stomach bug, ended the game with just nine points and eight rebounds, but the final points and board were the biggest of the night. He was in position for the game-winning tip thanks to key defense and rebounds down the stretch. Gordon hit a 6-foot jumper to close a five-point deficit. Seconds later, Ryan Anderson, who led the Hornets with 21 points, went 2-for-3 from the free-throw line.

On Boston's ensuing possession, Paul Pierce missed a 16-foot jumper and Anderson rebounded. That set up New Orleans with the final shot, which Davis converted for the win.

Pierce helped Boston battle back with 11 fourth-quarter points, but they weren't enough. He finished with a game-high 28 points while Kevin Garnett added 20 points and six rebounds. Jeff Green cooled off after 11 first-quarter points and finished with just 13.

Greivis Vasquez guided New Orleans with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Brian Roberts had 12 points off the bench as the backup point guard.

QUOTABLE: "He was really sick and I almost didn't put him back in the game. I was going to put him back in around the seven-minute mark, I think, in the fourth and I looked at him and I said, 'Are you OK?' And he just looked at me with sad eyes and he was like, 'I'm good coach.' I just said, 'Man, I can't do that to you.' The parent in me or the guardian in me takes over at times. Then I saw him on the bench kind of excited and getting into a little bit. ... And the last shot he made was his first game-winner and it comes on a night when he's sick and puking and not feeling his best. Kudos to him."
-- Hornets coach Monty Williams on Davis limited fourth-quarter minutes.

THE STAT: 45-28 -New Orleans lacked the size against Boston but that didn't keep the Hornets from outrebounding the Celtics by 17. New Orleans also had 11 second-chance points. And none of the rebounds and put-backs were more important than the game-winner by Davis, who outmuscled Garnett and Green for the key play.

TURNING POINT: The Hornets trailed big early in the third when a 9-0 run turned into that 31-9 spree that gave New Orleans home. Davis started it with a layup. A Vasquez jumper and free throw cut the 13-point deficit to eight. Gordon then converted a layup and a jumper and New Orleans was down only 60-56 with 7:03 to play in the third quarter.

QUOTABLE II: "I just thought that we messed the game up. I thought that we thought that we were going to win the game when we got that lead."
-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

HOT: Pierce might have missed the final key shot for Boston, but without his 9-for-17 performance and 8-for-8 night at the free-throw line, the Celtics wouldn't have had a chance at the end.

NOT: Boston guard Avery Bradley, who was shooting 41 percent heading into Wednesday night, went cold against the Hornets. Bradley was 2-for-10 and finished with just five points and five rebounds.

GOOD MOVE: Williams tends to err on the side of caution when Hornets players are sick or injured. But he rolled the dice with Davis and was rewarded in the end for putting the No. 1 overall pick back in the game at the end.

NOTABLE: The Hornets swept the season series with Boston 2-0. ... New Orleans' bench outscored Boston's 39-15. ... Boston's Bradley had a season-high five steals. ... The Celtics went 16-for-17 from the free-throw line. ... The Celtics had just four offensive rebounds all night.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Friday vs. Memphis, Monday vs. Denver, Wednesday vs. Clippers. For the Celtics, Friday @ Dallas, Saturday @ Memphis, Tuesday vs. New York.