Celtics get squashed by the Hornets, 114-100


Celtics get squashed by the Hornets, 114-100

BOSTON—Few NBA coaches seem to embrace remaining “in the moment” as well and as consistently as Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

But the sooner the Celtics can move on from tonight’s beating, the better.

In a game with significant playoff implications for both Boston and Charlotte, it was the Hornets that played with the kind of desperation needed to emerge victorious.

And as the final horn sounded and the Celtics faithful – those that decided to hang around in a game that became a blowout from about the second quarter to the end – Boston will limp into its season finale on Wednesday licking its wounds following a resounding 114-100 beating at the hands of the Hornets.

Charlotte, which led by as many as 28 points, won this game far more decisively than the final score would indicate.

Both teams cleared their benches in the final minute or two and the Celtics made the most of that time with a few baskets to make the final score more respectable.

The Celtics showed some signs of making things interesting in the fourth when they were able to cut Charlotte’s lead to as little as 15 following a 3-pointer by R.J. Hunter about halfway through the fourth. Hunter made the most of his minutes in scoring 11 points off the bench on 4-for-6 shooting.

The game’s intensity had clearly picked up in the fourth to a point where it actually looked like a game where both teams were heavily engaged in doing whatever they could to get the victory.

But down the stretch, the Celtics were unable to make shots when they desperately needed points.

And with each empty offensive trip, Boston found itself inching all that much closer to what was one of the more disappointing performances this season.

Boston (47-34) closes out its regular season against the Miami Heat who like the Celtics and Hornets (47-34), are also battling to improve its playoff seeding.

Monday’s game was very much an exercise in systematic destruction on the part of the Hornets.

They began the game by feeding ex-Celtic Al Jefferson a steady diet of touches in the paint. And he did what Big Al always – get buckets a few feet from the rim.

Jared Sullinger was no match for Jefferson’s assortment of low-post, up-and-under, pivot moves. Jefferson finished with a double-double of 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting, to go with 11 rebounds.

And then there was Harvard’s own Jeremy Lin who was having one of those Linsanity moments in the second quarter when he went on an 11-0 Lin  run that was part of a blistering surge by the Hornets. He led all scorers with 25 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

The Celtics found themselves looking up at a 63-41 halftime deficit, the kind of hole few teams ever fully come out of.

Boston spent most of the third quarter trailing by 20 or more points with the frustration of the huge deficit beginning to wear on the players.

Isaiah Thomas drove into the lane and was whistled for an offensive foul. He didn’t like the call and rolled the ball towards official Ben Taylor who made the ball.

Taylor hit him with a technical and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, well aware that his star player was losing his composure, took him out of the game to cool off.

Thomas finished with 17 points and shared team-high scoring honors with Avery Bradley. Boston got a double-double from Kelly Olynyk off the bench as he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

File Photo

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

There hasn't been all positive news surrounding Gordon Hayward as of late.

The Celtics have been shooting down rumors of Hayward returning this season. Recent news has detailed a minor setback in his recovery.

But it's always good to see the C's superstar up early crushing a workout in the weightroom.

We might not see him back in 2018, but his dedication during recovery is something to admire.


Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

AP Photo

Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

It seems all season we’ve talked about the Boston Celtics overcoming adversity, whether it be a bad injury to a key player or a blown assignment leading to a loss.

Nowhere is this more apparent than their play on the road this season which ranks among the best in the NBA.

The Celtics will look to continue on their road warrior-like ways tonight at New Orleans, a team that’s fighting for playoff position in the tighter-than-usual Western Conference.

In recent years, the terrain has been rough for teams from the East venturing into Western Conference territory.

For this year’s Celtics?

Not so much.

Boston comes into tonight’s game with a 17-7 record against Western Conference teams, tops among all teams in the East.

And while Boston has eight road games left this season, they are on pace to finish with one of the best road records in franchise history.

Currently 24-9 away from the TD Garden (tops in the East, third overall in the NBA), that’s a winning percentage of .727 which is the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on when the Boston Celtics take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.


It’s a given that Al Horford will spend time defending Anthony Davis tonight. And while Davis will likely have a strong night scoring the ball, you can count on Horford making it extremely tough on him. When the two teams met on Jan. 16, Davis was 8-for-19 shooting for 16 points in 52 possessions when defended by Horford. For the game, Davis had 45 points on 16-for-34 shooting.


We’ve seen “Playoff" Rondo and “National TV" Rondo deliver some impressive performances in the past. What will we see from “Well-Rested” Rondo? The Pelicans gave the ex-Celtic the night off on Saturday as to not play him in back-to-back games. Of the two games, it made sense to sit him against the Rockets and have him ready to roll against a Boston Celtics team that will not have its full complement of players available.


Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had some choice words about the officiating in New Orleans’ 107-101 loss to Houston on Saturday that he clearly felt cost his team a better chance at winning. The only cost in play now is how big will the check be that he’ll pay the league for his comments about the officiating. His issue was that Anthony Davis doesn’t get enough calls based on the physical abuse he takes per game. Davis ranks fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts (7.8) per game, but only had four attempts against the Rockets. It’ll be worth watching whether the Pelicans, 16th in the league in free throw attempts (21.4) per game, will get to the line significantly more or less than their season average.


One of the keys to Boston’s improved play since returning to the floor since the all-star break, has been their ability to begin games with strong play. Boston has outscored their opponent in the first quarter each of the last eight games, and 10 of 11. In addition, Boston has been ahead at the half in each of their 10 games since the all-star break, which comes on the heels of trailing at the half in the seven games prior to the break.


Jayson Tatum has been one of the most impactful rookies in the NBA this season which will likely land him a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie first or second team. One of the strengths of Tatum has been his durability, evident by him being one of just two first-year players to appear in each of his team’s games played this season. He is joined by Memphis’ Dillon Brooks.