NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Boston
(Wednesday, April 1st)
Final Score: Boston 111, Charlotte 109 (2-OT)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen scored 11 of his 22 points in extra time and buried a game-winning three-pointer from the right corner with 2.1 ticks left, as Boston outlasted Charlotte in a 111-109 double-overtime thriller at TD Banknorth Garden.
Paul Pierce totaled a game-high 32 points and Rajon Rondo had 21 to pair with nine assists for the Atlantic Division-champion Celtics, who are most likely now aiming for the second seed in the Eastern Conference at five games behind the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers with six left on the regular-season schedule.
Boston is still in good standing having won three straight and seven of its last eight games overall and moved one game up on Orlando for the No 2 seed following a Magic loss to Toronto earlier Wednesday.
"It's big, because we're building towards the playoffs. These types of wins are necessary, especially if we look up and see that Orlando lost, if we're trying to get home court advantage to the second round, so all these games are big because we're building for the long-run," said Pierce.
The Celtics resumed a five-game homestand with their fifth consecutive win at TD Banknorth Garden and will also welcome the Hawks, Nets and Heat to Beantown on the residency. Boston plays four of its remaining six games at home.
Eddie House provided 18 points off the bench and Kendrick Perkins hauled in a game-best 12 boards, blocked five shots and added a pair of buckets for Boston, which was again without forward Kevin Garnett (knee) for a third straight game as head coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday that he will rest over the next few games to stay healthy for the postseason.
"That was a great, gutty win. There were so many times when we were down and could've gave up, and just made big shots. Our guys executed down the stretch," said Rivers. "They're (Charlotte) a playoff team. They had that one stretch of injuries, but that's a playoff team. They're big, they're physical, they have more veterans than us."
Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, which is in search of its first playoff berth in franchise history and currently sits 1 1/2 games off the pace of No. 8 seed Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings.
"It wasn't a missed opportunity, this is a game, we lost. We put ourselves in a great position to win against the defending champions on their home court. We played them as tough as we could. They made shots when they needed to make shots and we didn't, that's basically all it came down to," said Wallace.
Boris Diaw posted 17 points, eight assists and seven boards while Raymond Felton checked in with 14 points and 12 assists. D.J. Augustin also had 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Bobcats posted their third straight victory on Tuesday, handing the mighty Los Angeles Lakers a setback to help the club set a franchise record for wins in a season with 34.
"We beat LA and gave Boston everything they could handle so we're kind of proud of ourselves, we just have to regroup and finish out the season strong," added Wallace.
The teams traded baskets before a Raja Bell bank-shot gave the Bobcats an eight-point lead, 93-85, at the two-minute mark of the fourth, but three missed shots and two turnovers later Boston had ripped off eight straight points and tied the game at 93 on two Rondo free throws with 27.6 ticks left.
Charlotte had a chance to hold for the win with just a 2.7-second difference between the clocks but inexplicably committed a shot clock violation, as Rondo's late drive to the hoop trickled off the front of the rim, forcing overtime.
Wallace and Diaw hit back-to-back shots for a 101-98 lead with 19 ticks left in OT, but Allen buried a three-ball on the other end and Bell's attempt at a jumper for the win was off the mark, sending things into a second OT.
Following a Wallace jumper, Allen drained another long distance shot for the 106-105 lead with 2:11 remaining. Both teams had answers as the lead traded hands on a Felton jumper and Pierce's layup before an Emeka Okafor deuce provided the Bobcats a 109-108 edge with 45 seconds left.
Allen missed an initial three on the next possession, but Felton also clanked a jump shot, giving Allen 10 seconds to nail down the go-ahead bucket with 2.1 on the clock. Charlotte then set up an inbounds look for Bell at the chance for a game-winning three-pointer but it wouldn't go.
"We didn't handle it well. We had a foul to give and were going to switch everything...we had a foul to give with two timeouts and we gave up a three," Bobcats head coach Larry Brown said of the end-game scenario. " You have to give them credit, House and Ray (Allen) hit big shots and they played really well when they needed to. I thought we did about as well as we can do."
Charlotte led 33-26 after the opening 12 minutes but Boston, backed by a 17-9 run to start the second, jumped back in front 43-42. House provided a spark off the bench with seven points during the stretch and Boston held a 54-51 advantage at halftime.
The Celtics briefly extended their lead to nine less than two minutes into the third on five straight points from Pierce and an Allen three-pointer but the hosts would go nearly the remainder of the frame without a field goal, leading to a 18-point swing with a 21-3 Bobcats run.
Pierce finally stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer with 36 ticks left but Augustin answered right back with a triple of his own and Charlotte entered the fourth with a 77-71 lead.
Augustin opened the final 12 minutes with a pair of three-pointers around a Stephon Marbury deuce for an 83-73 margin 2 1/2 minutes in.
Charlotte built its lead to 12 before House helped jump-start a sluggish Celtics offense at the halfway point with a pair of three-pointers. Rondo followed with two buckets to shave the lead to 89-83 with 4:15 remaining.
Charlotte is 2-4 in its last five road games and 12-24 as the visitor this season...The Bobcats ended a three-game slide to the Celtics with a 114-106 overtime win on January 6 at Time Warner Cable Arena...Boston has won 13 of the 18 all-time meetings with Charlotte, which has lost seven of the nine meetings at TD Banknorth Garden...Charlotte has won six of the last nine games overall...Bell and Okafor both ended with 12 points while the latter also grabbed 10 rebounds for Charlotte...Allen finished 5-of-13 from three- point land.
04/02 00:10:08 ET