Biofreeze Keys to the Game: Celtics 126, Hornets 94

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Sorry about that third quarter, Hornets. You really got buzzed.

It was the Celtics who did the buzzing, as they swarmed their visitors into submission during the final 6:49 of the period. During that time, a tight game turned into a blowout as Boston caught fire and built up a 23-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

The C’s led by only four prior to the run, and the game was so competitive that it featured seven ties and eight lead changes to that point. That competitiveness disappeared in a hurry.

Six different Celtics combined to score 25 points during the final 6:49 of the quarter. Jaylen Brown led that crew with six points, including a stretch that included back-to-back dunks.

Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier were each on Brown’s heels during the run, as they scored five points apiece. Al Horford added in four, Gordon Hayward scored three, and Jayson Tatum scored two.

Those two from Tatum? Well, they just so happened to be the loudest of the night – and maybe of the entire season.

With 2:18 remaining in the quarter, Terry Rozier grabbed an offensive rebound off of a missed 3 by Tatum and quickly surveyed the court. After a quick pump fake, he took one dribble with his left hand and tossed a perfect alley-oop to Tatum, who was cutting to the basket from the left corner of the court. Tatum rose high, fully extended his body with his right arm high into the air, caught the ball and slammed it down with authority as the crowd rose to its feet in awestruck fashion.

This wasn’t just a dunk. It was a rim-rocker that shook the building.

That bucket was the putaway bucket for Boston. The knockout punch. The deadly sting, if you will.

Charlotte wasn’t going to recover from that, and the Celtics weren’t going to cool down. After finishing the third quarter by shooting 9-for-12 from the field, Boston went on to score another 28 points during the fourth quarter to close out a 126-94 win.

Key Player

Two Celtics earned their first double-double of the season Wednesday night, but only one can be our Key Player.

Terry Rozier, you’re the man tonight.

Rozier was nothing short of outstanding against the Charlotte Hornets. He scored 17 points, but what shined the most was his passing. Rozier finished the contest with a sparkling assist-to-turnover ratio of 10-to-1. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Those 10 assists were by far the game’s top total, and they also stand as Rozier's career high. No other player dished out more than seven, and no Hornets player dished out more than four. Rozier’s 10 assists were half as many as Charlotte’s team total. That’s crazy.

Amid all of those points and assists, the Celtics outscored Charlotte by 26 points while Rozier was on the court. He finished the game by making five of his 10 shots, and three of his five 3-pointers. He also added in a game-high three steals.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Terry Rozier (17 points, 10 assists) logged their first double-doubles of the season.
  • Brown's totals were both game highs.
  • Rozier's 10 assists were a game-high total, as were his three steals.
  • Boston scored at least 28 points during every quarter, maxing out with 35 during the first and third periods.
  • Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 21 points.
  • Boston led by as many as 35 points.
  • Boston shot 55.6 percent while limiting Charlotte to 43.8 percent shooting.
  • Malik Monk scored 16 points off the bench for Charlotte despite shooting 3-for-10 from long distance.
  • The Hornets attempted only seven free throws, compared to Boston's 16.
  • The C's outscored the Hornets by 31 points during Gordon Hayward's 23-plus minutes of playing time.
  • Hayward bounced back from back-to-back rough nights to total 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
  • Boston scored a whopping 64 points in the paint.
  • both teams committed 12 turnovers.

Quote of the Night

Brad Stevens on Jaylen Brown, after downplaying Gordon Hayward's dunk.