The Celtics dropped a season high 71 points in the first half last night

After coming out flat in the 1st half against Atlanta Thursday night, a troubling trend for the Boston Celtics of late, they came out last night and put pedal to the floor to the tune of 71 first half points against the Charlotte Hornets en route to a 121-114 victory. Jae Crowder said Thursday night that the Celtics needed to get back to "punching first" and they certainly did that yesterday. Their 71 first half points were the most for the Celtics this season, and they landed that first blow in a variety of ways offensively:

Crowder got the Celtics off and running early but it was Isaiah Thomas who did the most damage in the 1st half:

Despite the quick start the Celtics lead deteriorated behind a huge run from the Hornets and they found themselves trailing by 7-points midway through the 4th. Thomas said after the game that's when coach Brad Stevens challenged the C's in the huddle. Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:

"Coach said in the huddle, 'Don’t think there’s not going to be playoff games like this. Just figure out a way to win,'" Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas told reporters in Charlotte.

The Celtics managed to rally back, and Stevens was very pleased with the way his team responded with the playoffs just a few games away:

"We're going to face adversity throughout the next few weeks and we have to be able to respond," Stevens told reporters. "So that was good."

After trailing at halftime in 5 of their last 6 starts it was good to see the Celtics jump out ahead for a change. They find themselves still holding hope at claiming the 1st-overall seed in the East. The Celtics will need to win both of their remaining contests and need the Cavaliers to finish 1-2 for the C's to land the 1-seed. Cleveland starts a road-and-road back-to-back in Atlanta and Miami this afternoon, with their final matchup against Toronto this Wednesday at home looming. The C's finishing in that #1-spot might be a long-shot, but it's not out of the question just yet.

Photo Credit - Chuck Burton/Associated Press

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