NBA Game Summary - Boston at Charlotte
(Tuesday, January 25th)
Final Score: Boston 97, Charlotte 92
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce had 33 points and nine rebounds to lead Boston to a 97-92 win over Charlotte, ending the Celtics' nine-game road losing streak and extending the Bobcats' current slide to nine contests.
Pierce shot 10-of-18 from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line, as Boston outscored Charlotte 27-10 at the stripe. The Celtics also halted a two-game skid overall, winning for the first time on the road since December 18 at Cleveland.
"The guys shoot them every day," said Charlotte head coach Bernie Bickerstaff of the free throws. "So, how we address it is that we make them. That's the solution."
Emeka Okafor paced the Bobcats with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. He went scoreless in the first half, but hit 10-of-13 shots in the final 24 minutes.
Primoz Brezec added 18 points and eight boards and Kareem Rush had 17 points for Charlotte, which has dropped 15-of-16 overall and five straight at home.
After Rush gave the Bobcats an 82-80 lead with a three-pointer at the 6:03 mark of the fourth quarter, the Celtics scored seven straight to go ahead for good. The first five points came from the foul line with a Mark Blount jumper with 3:29 left capping the burst.
A Jason Hart three with 28 seconds remaining drew Charlotte within 94-91, but Boston hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch. Charlotte hit only 1-of-4 foul shots in the final seconds to seal its fate.
Okafor, who missed a pair from the line in the final seconds, ended 0-for-4 from the stripe.
"It was a little bit of everything," said Okafor on the losing. "You can't really put your finger on it. We're going to turn things around pretty soon here. We're getting too close not to. Patience is a virtue. That's being tested right now to the fullest."
Boston led 27-21 after one quarter and carried a 51-47 edge into halftime. Charlotte cut the deficit to 71-70 heading into the fourth and the teams went back and forth until the decisive Boston run.
Raef LaFrentz recorded 12 points and Ricky Davis went for 11 points for Boston, which ended its three-game road trip and returns home for a two-game homestand on Wednesday.
Brevin Knight missed his third straight game for Charlotte with a sprained ankle...Okafor has 27 double-doubles...Keith Bogans had 12 points for the Bobcats, who last won on January 5...Boston improved to 11-4 when holding an opponent to under 100 points.
01/26 00:11:14 ET