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Celts shake off slow start to down Bobcats
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Crawford scored 21 points, Gerald Wallace chipped in with 17, and the Boston Celtics shook off a sluggish start to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats, 96-86, at Times Warner Cable Arena.
Brandon Bass scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Jeff Green added 13 points with seven rebounds for Boston, which avenged an 89-83 home loss to Charlotte on Nov. 13.
Kemba Walker had a game-high 28 points with six rebounds and five assists, Gerald Henderson netted 20 points and Al Jefferson scored 14 for the Bobcats.
"The bench, actually in both halves, did a great job," said Crawford. "First half they got the lead and in the second half, the Bobcats came back and they pushed it back to 10."
After a Bass dunk with 10:32 left in the first quarter, Boston led 4-3, but Charlotte used an 11-1 run to take a 14-5 lead.
During the run, Boston missed 10 straight shots and was held without a field goal for a 6:27 span. Bass ended the drought after his layup attempt was goaltended by Charlotte's Jeff Adrian.
The Celtics shot 29 percent in the first and trailed 21-14 after the opening 12 minutes.
Boston quickly snapped out of its funk by opening the second quarter on a 19-2 run to take a 33-23 lead at 7:16. The Celtics scored the first 13 points of the quarter before Bobcats rookie Cody Zeller made a jumper at the 8:34 mark.
The Celtics took a 47-38 advantage into the break.
"We played a good energetic first quarter and we could have been up by more," said Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford. "We shot ourselves in the foot with some mistakes and then we came out at the start of the second quarter with nothing. They took advantage of it and did the same thing in the fourth."
Boston led 56-46 with 8:53 left in the third prior to Charlotte going on a 9-2 run capped by a Henderson three-point play.
Later, following a Jeff Taylor trey, Walker shook his defender on the next trip down and drained a mid-range jumper from the wing to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:29 left.
Boston gained a slim edge over the final minute of the quarter, leading 68-66 heading to the fourth.
The Celtics opened the final stanza similarly to how they opened the second frame, on a nice run that gave them breathing room. Boston started the first 2:45 of the fourth on a 9-0 run after back-to-back buckets from Kris Humphries.
After a Walker 3-pointer cut the deficit, 84-76, Bass hit a deep jumper and Wallace made a layup on the next trip down to give Boston its largest lead of the game, 88-76, with 3:39 left.
The Bobcats have lost five of their last six at home.
Boston shot 9-of-20 (45 percent) from beyond the arc compared to 3-of-9 for Charlotte ... These two teams wrap up the season series on Apr. 11, 2014 in Boston ... Boston snapped a two-game losing streak at Charlotte ... Both teams play on Wednesday with Boston heading to home to host Memphis and the Bobcats welcoming Indiana.
11/26 00:44:21 ET