There was one single opportunity for the Boston Celtics to stage a comeback in the second half of Tuesday’s game in Charlotte. Boston briefly took advantage of that opportunity before completely falling apart.
Charlotte held onto a 12-point lead with 7:37 remaining in the third quarter after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist nailed a jumper. The Celtics quickly responded with signs of life by reeling off six consecutive points, which included four free throws from Jeff Green and a jumper from Jason Terry.
At that moment it seemed as if the Celtics had finally woken up. They had snapped out of their funk and were ready to take control of the game heading into the fourth quarter.
That’s what it seemed like, until Gerald Henderson and the Bobcats responded with a knockout punch.
Henderson, who scored a career-high 35 points, answered immediately with an and-one layup in the paint. That play zapped all of Boston’s momentum and within a few possessions, Charlotte’s lead had grown back to 11 points. Including that spurt, the Bobcats finished the third quarter on a 15-6 run to take a 76-61 lead into the fourth quarter.
Charlotte’s run was an example of how you’re supposed to put a team away in the NBA. Boston gave itself a glimmer of hope, but it was the Bobcats who strolled to the final buzzer with a blowout victory.
Key Box Score Line
It’s becoming a fad in Charlotte for players to log career nights against the Celtics. Byron Mullens did it last month with 25 points and 18 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson did it again on Tuesday with a career-best 35 points.
Henderson had it working from the opening tip and he never let his productivity slide. He dispersed his points evenly throughout the game, scoring 11 in the first quarter, 10 in the second quarter, 10 in the third quarter, and then four in his limited action during the fourth quarter. The Celtics, who pride themselves on defense, truly had no answers for the fourth-year guard. Henderson shot 11-of-19 from the field and made all 12 of his free throw attempts on the night.
When Henderson checked out of the game with 3:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, the scattered crowd in Charlotte gave him as loud an ovation as it could muster up. He deserved every clap and holler that came his way.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston's leading scorers, Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford, scored only 14 points apiece. Charlotte, on the other hand, watched Gerald Henderson score 35 and Ben Gordon score 17.
- The Celtics made a season-low 27 field goals in the game.
- This was the second consecutive game in which the Celtics failed to score 80 points.
- Boston was outrebounded 48-29.
- Green, who played 30 minutes and 19 seconds, was the only Boston player who logged more than 30 minutes of action.
- Appearing in his first game as a Celtic, Shavlik Randolph totaled four points and four rebounds.
- Brandon Bass led the Celtics with seven boards.
- No player in the game dished out more than four assists.
- Eight Bobcats players finished with a plus/minus of at least plus-10, led by a plus-21 for Josh McRoberts.
- McRoberts led the game in rebounding with 10.
- The teams combined for only 24 turnovers (13 by Boston, 11 by Charlotte).
- Boston nearly scored as many points in the second quarter (26) as it did in the entire second half (28).
- Randolph picked up five fouls in just 18 minutes of action.
Quote of the Night
I just thought we approached the game with the wrong mentality. We were really cool tonight. Doc Rivers touches on his players' mentality with a hint of sarcasm