BOSTON, March 4 (Ticker) -- Having Antoine Walker and Gary Payton as teammates already is paying dividends for the Boston Celtics.

Walker scored 18 points and Payton added 10 with four assists as the Celtics won their season-high fourth straight game, a 104-84 triumph over the struggling Charlotte Bobcats.

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The Celtics, who have won all three meetings with the expansion Bobcats, moved three games above .500 and maintained their 2½-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers atop of the Atlantic Division.

"We came out with the right energy ... defensively," Walker said. "The second unit gave us an eight- to 10-point cushion and then we were able to stretch it to 18 in the second half. Gary did a good job of establishing tempo with his defensive pressure."

Payton, who was traded to Atlanta for Walker on Feb. 24, was waived by the Hawks on Tuesday and re-signed with the Celtics earlier Friday. He made a pair of layups during a 9-2 run that closed the second quarter and gave Boston a 56-41 lead.

"It's like Payton never left," Celtics guard Marcus Banks said. "He is a great guy to have around. You have the veteran leadership and he is doing a great job with me and Delonte (West), teaching us the point guard position, and he is out there doing it as well."

Walker, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Celtics, scored 11 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer with 4:24 to go that extended Boston's advantage to 79-61.

"We are not changing a lot of stuff," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We're just tweaking it to fit Antoine in, and now with Gary coming back, it's going to work out."

In winning for the 16th time in 20 home games, the Celtics had six players in double figures. Ricky Davis scored 18 points, Banks added 13 and Mark Blount and West chipped in 11 apiece.

"We have a solid team," West said. "You look up and we have four or five All-Star-caliber players on this team. And it's going to be a hard team to play going into the playoffs."

Jason Hartcame off the bench to score 13 points and rookie Emeka Okafor had 12 and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who have lost six straight road games and 26 of 28 contests away from Charlotte this season.

"Sometimes in a game, you think you're right there, you look up at the scoreboard and you're down 10," Okafor said. "It sneaks up on you, and that's what it felt like today."