Stars, studs and duds: Celtics defense was on 'different level' during rally

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics defense was on 'different level' during rally

BOSTON – The fourth quarter arrived and the Boston Celtics did what we’ve seen them do so often this season.

They went to the reliable one … their defense.

The Celtics and their top-ranked defense put on a defensive clinic in the fourth quarter which helped propel them to a 90-87 win over Charlotte.

Boston (11-2) trailed by as many as 18 points and went into the fourth quarter down by a dozen.

They opened the fourth with a 10-1 run that brought them within 77-74.

The Celtic surge continued with their lead peaking at five points on two different occasions in the fourth.

“Our defense, you know, went up to a different level in that third and fourth quarters,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens whose team limited the Hornets (5-7) to just 30 points scored in the second half on 11-for-39 (28.2 percent) shooting.

Stevens added, “Guys battled, and that’s been a consistent theme of this team. It has not been an offensive piece of art by any means; but our defense kind of kept us in it.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 90-87 win over Charlotte which extended Boston’s winning streak to 11 in a row.



Shane Larkin

With an opportunity to play extended minutes, Shane Larkin did not disappoint. He came off the Celtics bench to score a season-high 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting, providing a much-needed offensive spark on a night when most of the Celtics struggled to make shots.

Kemba Walker

He couldn’t make shots most of the night, but he found ways to still impact the game and kept the Hornets in the game up until the very end. Despite missing 14 of his 19 shots from the field, Walker still had a double-double of 20 points and 11 assists.



Marcus Morris

His defense on Kemba Walker in the final minute and the shot he made in that span would have been enough to elevate him to stud-status. But he provided more than that, tallying 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting with seven rebounds in 23 minutes, 24 seconds.

Dwayne Bacon

Don’t know much about him? That’ll change in time. Bacon came up with a bunch of big shots in the first half for Charlotte, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting off the bench.

Jayson Tatum

The Celtics rookie continues to shine in ways that few expected this soon. He got stronger as the game went on, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the second half.

Jaylen Brown

He’s had a few games this season when his shot for most of the night wouldn’t fall. And yet when the game is on the line, there he is to deliver a much-needed big play for the Celtics. Brown tallied a double-double of 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds with seven of his 10 points coming in the fourth.



Dwight Howard

Credit Aron Baynes for once again making life miserable for Howard who had more turnovers (7) than points scored (6). Ouch!


WATCH: Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers

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WATCH: Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Trail Blazers in Portland. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 9  p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: Monroe looks forward to his second taste of the playoffs

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[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: How will Kyrie Irving's knee injury affect him going forward?

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CELTICS TALK PODCAST: How will Kyrie Irving's knee injury affect him going forward?

1:30 - How concerning is Kyrie Irving's injured knee? Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Chris Mannix discuss how this will affect Kyrie for the rest of this season, if he will be ready for playoffs, and if it will linger into next year.

6:50 - What are the expectations for the Celtics if they are without Kyrie Irving? Is it worth it to push Kyrie to play if they can’t win the title this season?

9:05 - Celtics are playing more for the 2018-2019 season than they are for 2017-2018 as they could become serious title contenders with a healthy team and more development from young players.

11:50 - What will be the interest in Marcus Smart in the offseason? Is it more likely he leaves or stays in Boston?

15:30 - Raptors or Cavaliers are both dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference. Who is the favorite to come out of the East?

20:06 - How can dangerous could the 76ers be in the playoffs? Do they have a chance to win a playoff series?

24:19 - Brian Scalabrine sits down the Celtics head coach Brad Stevens to talk about NCAA March Madness and his love for Butler University.