BOSTON, Jan. 3 (Ticker) --
doesn't miss many games. He
missed a good one by teammates Paul Pierce
and Ricky Davis
Pierce collected his fourth-career triple-double and Davis
scored 23 points off the bench as the Celtics overcame 16
first-half turnovers for a 108-90 victory over the New
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Payton sat out with a strained left hamstring, marking just the
fourth game in his 15-year career that he missed because of
injury. It snapped a streak of 305 games played for the future
Hall of Famer.
Without Payton, the Celtics struggled to control the ball in the
first half. However, in the third quarter, Pierce stabilized
the team with two 3-pointers in a 39-second span to along two
assists in a 14-4 run to give the Celtics a 62-52 advantage with
"I think we kept them in the game because we were just turning
the ball over," Pierce said. "I think it was initial reaction
from not having Gary out there for the first time this year. So
we were a little stagnated, a little confused on offense. I
think in the second half we were able to slow things down and
get things going.
"I just wanted to make up for some of the things we didn't have
with Gary not being out there."
The All-Star, whose last triple-double came against Milwaukee on
November 25, 2003, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10
Davis sparked another spurt, scoring seven points as Boston
closed the quarter on a 15-2 run and took an 82-65 lead into the
"With the size of their guards out there, I figured I would go
out there and be aggressive this game and try to make things
happen," said Davis, who was 9-of-10 from the line.
The Hornets got no closer than 15 points thereafter which drew
the ire of their coach.
"We were happy we played a good first half and although we came
out in the second half, I thought they turned it up a little bit
and we just folded like a cheap suit." Hornets coach ByronScott
"I want a bunch of pit bulls. I don't want a bunch of
chihuahuas. That's the mentality you have to have. You're going
to be a pit bull or you're going to be a chihuahua, and right
now we have a bunch of guys in that room who are chihuahuas."
chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds for the
Celtics, who have four straight home games after splitting their
first 10 contests at the FleetCenter.
"We just need to win at home and we are doing that now," Boston
coach Doc Rivers
said. "We got a chance and we need to keep
winning at home, that's all I'm telling my guys right now."
and Lee Nailon
scored 18 points apiece for New
Orleans, which has lost eight straight games, allowing at least
100 points in the last seven.
"We need people to step up and make the extra effort," Baron
Davis said. "There are only a few guys on this team who have
been in playoff situations and really know how to compete at
this level and compete for 48 minutes or however long you are
out there, we don't do a good job of that."