Naturally, one night after a triple-overtime thriller against the Denver Nuggets, Boston’s matchup with the Bobcats on Monday in Charlotte came down to the final possessions of the game. It’s no surprise that the Celtics didn’t have enough left in the tank to continue their season-best seven-game win streak.
The C’s sure did make it interesting in spite of their fatigued bodies. All they needed was to prevent the Bobcats from scoring in the final 30 seconds of the game and their win streak would have continued. Ramon Sessions wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Charlotte called a timeout with 34.2 seconds remaining in the game as it trailed 91-90. Mike Dunlap wanted to draw up a play that his young players could execute and they did just that. Interestingly enough, it was against Boston’s top two perimeter defenders.
Dunlap ordered his troops to run a perimeter dribble-hand-off on the right wing between Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions. They were defended by Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee, respectively. Walker was the dribbler and he handed the ball off to Sessions on the right wing as he set a solid screen on Lee. Lee and Bradley were set to switch assignments, but Bradley tweaked his ankle just a few feet away from Walker’s screen. That allowed Sessions to catch the ball cleanly and step into a wide open 18-foot jumper.
Sessions cashed in on the open shot to put the Bobcats on top by one with 25.7 seconds left in the game. Boston had its chances to tie or win the game in the final seconds, but its tired legs resulted in three missed jumpers from the perimeter. With that, the Celtics’ season-long win streak was snapped at seven games.
Key Box Score Line
If you thought Kevin Garnett’s numbers were going to be affected by Sunday night’s triple-overtime game in Boston, you were wrong. He put together another great game Monday night in Charlotte despite having played a season-high 47 minutes the previous night.
Garnett tallied 16 points and a team-high 13 rebounds while playing less than 29 minutes of the contest. He scored eight points and assisted on three more in the fourth quarter alone to help the Celtics stage a comeback and nearly pull off an impressive road victory.
This is the second consecutive game in which Garnett has tallied at least 16 points and 13 rebounds. Those numbers now have his double-double total up to 14 on the season. He may not have been playing on fresh legs Monday night, but he sure did play well during his limited action.
Box Score Nuggets
- All five of Boston's starters finished with a positive plus/minus. Four of the five reserves finished with a positive plus/minus rating.
- Brandon Bass (4-for-7) was the only Celtics starter to hit at least half of his shots.
- Byron Mullens logged one of the best games of his career with 25 points and 18 rebounds.
- Both teams shot less than 43 percent from the field.
- Mullens and Kevin Garnett (13 rebounds) were the only players in the game to grab more than eight boards.
- Garnett also scored 16 points.
- Both teams scored 19 points in the final quarter.
- Charlotte shot 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from long range.
- There were 11 ties and 13 lead changes in the game.
- Four Bobcats scored at least 16 points.
- Jeff Green led the Celtics with 18 points off of the bench.
- Garnett and Avery Bradley each blocked two shots.
- Paul Pierce nearly notched another triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Quote of the Night
We're a great matchup team, and tonight we just couldn't get back to match up. And then we missed a lot of shots front-rim, which is typical with tired legs. Doc Rivers on his team's performance