Keys to the Game: Celtics 96, Bobcats 86

Celtics 96, Bobcats 86 - Charlotte, NC
By Marc D'Amico, November 25, 2013

Key Moment

Talk about a knockout punch.

The Celtics made it clear to the Bobcats that Monday night’s matchup was being deposited in Boston’s win column. The message was delivered with a four-stage combo to Charlotte’s midsection at the start of the final period.

Boston, which led 68-66 heading into the fourth, opened up the fourth quarter on 9-0 run that began with a driving layup from Jeff Green. Green’s bucket arrived just 55 seconds into the frame.

The next minute-plus was all about Phil Pressey, who cut Charlotte’s defense up with two beautiful dimes. The first came off of a drive into the paint that resulted in a kick-out pass to Courtney Lee for a wide-open 3-pointer. On Boston’s next possession, Pressey hit Kris Humphries with a perfect pass off of a pick-and-roll that led to an easy layup on the run.

Steve Clifford, Charlotte’s head coach, called for a timeout after that bucket as his team trailed 75-66. That timeout, however, did not thwart Boston’s momentum.

The Celtics came out of the break and forced a turnover when Lee stepped in to steal the ball away from Al Jefferson. Lee then hit Humphries for an open jumper on Boston’s ensuing possession that put the C’s on top by 11 with 9:15 remaining in the contest.

Boston’s 9-0 spurt took less than three minutes to come together. It all started at the defensive end, where the Celtics forced the Bobcats into three consecutive misses and a turnover. At the other end, Boston used unselfish offense to rattle off its points and build up a lead it would never relinquish.

That, my friends, is how you put a team away.

Key Box Score Line

Gerald Wallace partied like it was 2010 Monday night in Charlotte. Wallace, who made the All-Star team in 2010 as a member of the Bobcats, looked like his old self again while playing in his former home arena.

The Celtics got a season-best performance out of their veteran swingman as he tallied 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting off of the bench. The stat-stuffing only begins with Wallace’s points. He also tallied four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot during his 36 minutes of action.

As you may surmise, Boston was pretty good while Wallace was on the floor Monday night. It outscored the Bobcats by eight points while Wallace keyed the team’s play at both ends of the court.

This isn’t 2010, but it sure felt like it Monday night. Except, of course, for the fact that Wallace was dominating a game in Time Warner Cable Arena while playing for the visiting team.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Five Celtics scored in double-figures, led by Jordan Crawford's 21 points
  • Crawford shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
  • Both teams shot less than 45 percent from the field, yet neither grabbed more than 39 rebounds.
  • Five Celtics players blocked one shot during the game.
  • Kemba Walker scored a game-high 28 points.
  • Phil Pressey led the game in assists (eight) and steals (three).
  • Boston won the second and fourth quarters, while Charlotte won the first and third.
  • Jared Sullinger (eight boards) was the only player in the game to grab more than seven rebounds.
  • Both teams led by double-figures at some point during the game.
  • Walker and Gerald Henderson each attempted 17 shots, leading to a total of 48 points between them.
  • The Celtics committed just 12 turnovers.
  • The teams shot nearly identical totals from the free-throw line: 17-of-21 for Boston and 17-of-20 for Charlotte.
  • Boston scored 17 points off of Charlotte's 17 turnovers.

Quote of the Night

I think we let the game get away in Boston, so we wanted to get back at them. We felt like we should have won that game. So we came in here, we kind of wanted to take it to them from the start and keep the momentum going our way.
Gerald Wallace on wanting to get revenge against a Bobcats team that beat the Celtics 12 days ago in Boston

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