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Charlotte Keeps Chances Alive at Securing No. 5 Spot with Win in Boston

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

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ResultJeremy Lin scored a game-high 25 points, including 19 in the second quarter as the Hornets closed the first half on a 31-3 run to take a 63-41 lead on their way to a 114-100 victory on April 11, 2016 in Boston. The win kept the Hornets hopes alive at earning the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, depending on how the season wraps up around the league on Wednesday, April 13.

Turning PointsCharlotte appeared to be reeling early in the second quarter when Marcus Smart connected on 1-of-2 free throws to give the Celtics a 38-32 lead with 8:09 left in the half, but the Hornets found another gear and put together one of the best quarters of the season, outscoring Boston, 31-3, to close the half and take a 63-41 lead into the locker room. Jeremy Lin scored 17 of his 19 second-quarter points in the run, including a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe to control the pace for Charlotte. As a team, the Hornets shot 7-of-13 from the field and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line in the decisive run, while the defense buckled down and held Boston to 1-of-14 shooting from the field while forcing five Celtics turnovers.

Inside the Box ScoreAl Jefferson recorded his seventh double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) of the season in his first start for the Hornets since Nov. 29, 2015 against Milwaukee when he strained his calf after seven minutes of play. Big Al added two assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 27 minutes of action… Jefferson got the start in place of Cody Zeller, who was out with a sternum contusion. It was the first time since Jan. 31 at the Los Angeles Lakers (right shoulder strain) that Zeller wasn’t in the starting lineup – a string of 32-consecutive starts… Kemba Walker had 18 points, a game-high six assists, five rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot… Marvin Williams (16 points) and Troy Daniels (11) rounded out Charlotte’s double-digit scorers… The Hornets 39 second-quarter points were the most scored in a the second quarter by the team this season… Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas led six Celtics scoring in double figures with 17 points apiece.

Hornets Player of the Game
Jeremy Lin finished with a game-high 25 points, including 19 in the decisive second quarter, and shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line and 7-of-14 from the field. He added seven rebounds, five assists, a game-high five steals and one blocked shot in 39 minutes off the bench. Lin became the first player in the NBA to record 25+ points and 5+ steals as a reserve this season. He is the first Hornets player since Tony Delk (4/9/97 vs. Boston) to have 25+ points and 4+ steals off the bench. Lin also became the first Charlotte player since Ben Gordon in 2012-13 to have multiple 25+ point games as a reserve.

Celtics Player of the GameAvery Bradley tied Isaiah Thomas with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Game Notes
The Hornets are now 12-4 in the second half of back-to-backs, giving them the best record in the Eastern Conference in the second half of back-to-back games… Charlotte’s 6-1 record on the road in the second half of back-to-backs is also tops in the Eastern Conference… Charlotte connected on 14 three-pointers, running its franchise-best mark to 862 – the eighth-best total in a single season in NBA history… With their 47th win of the year (47-34), the Hornets have a +14 win margin over 2014-15 and have posted the most wins since going 49-33 in 1999-2000… Marvin Williams has been named one of 12 finalists for the Tywman/Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, voted on by NBA players.

Next Up
The Hornets head home to close the regular season against Orlando at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13 at Time Warner Cable Arena. This game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.