Dare we say playoffs? Celtics beat the Hornets 106-98

The Celtics came out firing on all cylinders to begin the game. Marcus Smart in particular was feeling it early knocking down two quick threes to help him score 10 points in the first quarter alone. Like Smart, the C's were making their three point shots at a healthy clip early in the game.

However, the deep ball betrayed the Celts in the second period(5-13 in the first half). Old friend Al Jefferson led the Hornets in their effort to take advantage of the Celtics' sudden lack of shooting. Charlotte ended the half on a 13-1 run to erase an early ten point deficit and turn it into a four point advantage to bring into the locker room.

The Hornets began the third quarter by extending their second quarter run to 23-1. But after five quick points by Avery Bradley the Celtics hit their stride again. Insert Isaiah Thomas, whose tenacity to drive to the basket continued the C's down the comeback trail.

Thomas, who leads the NBA in fourth quarter scoring at 6.2 points displayed his fourth quarter dominance once more. His play along with renewed three point shooting helped the Celtics overcome their earlier shooting woes to take the lead with about five minutes left in the contest. The Hornets stuck around but in the end Thomas, Bradley, Jonas Jerebko and Jae Crowder willed the C's to their third straight win.

The Celtics next game is Sunday night at home against the Golden State Warriors.

Boxscore (celtics.com)

Photo credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

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