Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Celtics 102, Hornets 91

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Charlotte Hornets, down three points with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, looked like they were on the verge of pulling off a 20-point comeback against the Boston Celtics.

The C’s, however, silenced the Buzz at Spectrum Center, as they closed out the game on a 13-5 run.

Boston was barely clinging to an 89-86 lead at the 4:38 mark, when Kyrie Irving gave them some extra breathing room with a long 2-point jumper over the outstretched right arm of Dwight Howard.

The C’s made their biggest play of the game on Charlotte’s next trip up the floor, as Al Horford blocked Kemba Walker’s layup attempt, which fell into the hands of Marcus Smart, who then dished a perfect outlet pass to Jayson Tatum for a fast-break dunk.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would make it a five-point game on a layup at the 3:12 mark, but Horford immediately responded with a layup of his own to put the C’s back up, 95-88.

Tatum would later add to the lead with a pair of free throws, and Irving chipped in with a step-back jumper that gave Boston an 11-point lead with just 66 seconds remaining.

Horford would cap off the run with a 3-pointer, as the Celtics ran away with a 102-91 win.

Key Player

The Charlotte Hornets, who trailed Boston by as many as 20 points Wednesday night, entered the fourth quarter facing a slim, 76-75 disadvantage. Their 19-point swing, however, was cut short by a 19-year-old rookie on the other side of the ball.

Jayson Tatum played well beyond his years during crunch time, as he tallied 10 of his 18 points during the final frame. His 12-minute closing effort included two dunks, three rebounds, two steals, a block and just one missed shot and one turnover.

None of Charlotte's vets had an answer to Tatum's late surge, as he helped the C's dispatch the Hornets with a 26-16 fourth-quarter effort.

Box Score Nuggets

  • The Celtics never trailed during the game.
  • Both starting point guards led their respective teams in scoring – Kemba Walker put up 24 points and Kyrie Irving logged 21 points.
  • Dwight Howard led the game with 17 rebounds to go along with 12 points.
  • Al Horford logged a double-double, as well, logging 20 points and 11 boards.
  • Boston shot a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line.
  • Kyrie Irving dished out a game-high eight assists. No other player on either team had more than five dimes.
  • Nic Batum snagged four steals, which equaled Boston's team total in that department.
  • Charlotte had 17 second-chance points to Boston's five.
  • The Celtics committed nearly twice as many fouls (20) as the Hornets (11).
  • Horford shot 8-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
  • The C's had a 19-8 advantage on fast-break points.

Quote of the Night

It’s winning time. You’ve got to do whatever it takes on both ends of the floor to help your team win.

Jayson Tatum on his strong two-way play in the fourth quarter.

Key Player