CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 14 (Ticker) -- Antoine Walker continues to provide a spark for the resurgent Boston Celtics.

Walker had 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Celtics won for the eighth time in nine games since his return with a 119-110 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

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Since being reacquired by Boston, Walker is averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds as the Celtics (35-29) have opened a 4½-game lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

"I think I brought leadership, experience, a will to win and another option," Walker said. "I'm a versatile player who commands a double team. Right now, we're playing good basketball and with a high energy level, and we're trying to make a run for this Atlantic Division title."

"We're sacrificing and knowing that it's all about team," said Celtics swingman Paul Pierce, who had 15 points and nine assists. "Getting Antoine in the trade really gave us a boost and gave us more depth and it's given us a lift. We feel like we're one of the better teams in the East now."

Boston, which was coming off a 5-1 homestand that included victories over Washington and Detroit in its last two games, looked like it might suffer a letdown against the expansion Bobcats, who scored the final six points of the third quarter to draw within 90-89.

Charlotte missed its first nine shots of the fourth as Boston used a 10-0 run to open a 100-89 lead with 7:43 left.

"At the eight-minute mark of the fourth quarter, we had four good shots and they didn't go down," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "On the other end, they had those shots and they went down. We have to do a better job of guarding the shooter."

Ricky Davis scored six of his 27 points during the spurt and added a 20-footer with just under five minutes remaining to push the Celtics' advantage to 108-95.

Davis made 12-of-15 shots after being held to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting Sunday against the Wizards.

"I had a bad game last night," Davis said, "So I really wanted to make up for that. Tonight was just my night. If we play team ball as a unit, I think we can go very far this season."

"He had it going tonight," Pierce said. "That's what great about this team. Someone can do that every night. That's what makes it fun."

Rookie Emeka Okafor answered with a dunk and Brevin Knight scored eight points in a 10-2 run that cut the Bobcats' deficit to 110-105 with 1:47 on the clock.

"We were able to withstand their run," Walker said. "We knew they were going to play us hard and go with us 110 percent and we just answered their call. Every time they had a run we countered that run and never let them get the lead in the second half."

Raef LaFrentz and Jason Kapono traded 3-pointers before Walker all but sealed the victory with a shot from the arc with 56 seconds to go.

"They cut it to five and you know you miss that shot and they come down and score and it's a one-possession ballgame," Walker said. "It became very critical."

"They basically have five scorers out there," Kapono said. "With Antoine at the four and LaFrentz at the five, those are guys who can shoot the three ball.

Walker scored 14 points in the first half, when the Celtics shot 70 percent (28-of-40). But Matt Carroll contributed 12 of his career-high 18 points in the second quarter as the Bobcats forged a 68-68 tie.

"I'll give our veterans credit," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. When I walked into the locker room it was already loud, with them telling the young guys that this game was way more important to us. It's good to get a road win."

Kapono scored 17 points and Okafor added 16 and 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which lost its seventh straight game.

Bickerstaff was ejected one minute into the final period after picking up a pair of technical fouls. There were a total of five technicals in the contest.