Former Bobcat Gerald Wallace had a season-high 17 points off the bench for the Boston Celtics in a 96-86 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Wallace, the Bobcats all-time leader in games, minutes, points, and steals, received a warm ovation from the Charlotte crowd when he entered the game in the first quarter. Wallace showed glimpses of his days as “Crash” in Charlotte, having arguably his best performance in Celtics green.
Wallace and Courtney Lee combined for 28 of Boston’s 39 bench points.
After trailing by nine at half time, Charlotte rallied in the third quarter and shot over 60 percent from the field. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson combined for 19 of the 28 third quarter points to trim Boston’s lead to two entering the fourth quarter.
Boston responded by scoring the first ten points of the fourth quarter and were able to contain Charlotte down the stretch.
The Bobcats are better in close games this season, but have struggled scoring in the fourth quarter. Charlotte has a -2 scoring margin in the fourth quarter this season, their lowest differential of any quarter. Even if the Bobcats are getting stops, their offense hasn’t always been able to convert when needed.
Walker led Charlotte with a game-high 28 points on 11 of 17 shooting. Gerald Henderson added 20 points.
After a 19 point, seven rebound performance against Milwaukee, Al Jefferson had 14 points and three rebounds in 33 minutes.
Jordan Crawford had a team-high 21 points. Crawford was 5 of 11 from the field with five assists and four rebounds. Boston entered the game shooting below 32 percent from 3-point range, but shot 45 percent from deep tonight. Crawford had four of Boston’s nine 3-point field goals.
IN THE BONUS
- Jefferson expressed optimism about his ankle after the game. “My ankle felt better than it’s ever felt’ since the injury,” Jefferson said.
- Entering the game, Charlotte was 23rd in opponent 3-point percentage.
- Bismack Biyombo and Ben Gordon both received DNP-CD’s.
- Cody Zeller had two points, three rebounds, and an assist in 14 minutes.
- Boston was without Kelly Olynyk (ankle) and Keith Bogans (illness).
- Both teams combined for just 16 fast break points. Both teams were averaging 11.8 fast break points coming into Monday’s game.
ABOVE THE RIM
- Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer: The Bobcats committed 17 turnovers, topped by reserve point guard Ramon Sessions’ four. Well as the 7-8 Bobcats play defense this season, they’re not good enough offensively to be sloppy in their execution.
- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: The Celtics were up 10 in the third quarter before the Bobcats rallied to tie the game late in the frame. Unfazed, Boston embarked on an 11-0 burst during a 3:24 stretch spanning into the fourth quarter.
- Chris Barnewall, Rufus on Fire: I think a lot of our expectations for Zeller have gone down as the season has gone on, but I’m really starting to get concerned with how uncomfortable and confused he looks on offense.
- Tim MacLean, Celtics Blog: Tonight’s win over the Bobcats was a direct result of the total team effort the Celtics were able to put together. All ten guys that were afforded the opportunity to play scored at least once and seven of those same ten recorded at least one assist.
- Spencer Percy, Queen City Hoops: Jefferson had some nice moments offensively, but couldn’t explode and force the Celtics to blitz him when the ball went inside. Watching this game last night was the coming out party for just how stand still the offense can become when Jefferson has the ball.