The Boston Celtics close out preseason 4-0 with win over the Charlotte Hornets, 108-100
The Boston Celtics close out their unblemished preseason schedule with another win over the Charlotte Hornets, 108-100. Kyrie Irving notched a double-double scoring 16 points on 7 of 11 from the field (2 of 3 from three) to go along with 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Al Horford was outstanding as well hitting 6 of his 7 attempts from the field, including all three from the outside, while snatching 8 rebounds and 4 assists. The Celtics as a team shot 50% from three (16-32) and moved the ball with great efficiency for a team in just it's 4th game after the offseason roster overhaul.
For the Hornets, rookie Malik Monk led the team with 21 points hitting 4 of his 10 attempts from three. Dwight Howard started the game strong and finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds on 6 of 9 from the floor.
The Celtics rolled out a starting five that included Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and their new big three. They opened the game lights out from downtown making their first four shots from the outside and marching out to a 14-7 lead before a Hornets timeout with 8:40 to play in the 1st. Irving was responsible for two of those treys, including this step-back jumper as he lulled Dwayne Bacon to sleep:
Marcus Morris made his first appearance in Celtic green, checking in midway through the opening quarter. He looked a little rusty to start, missing his first two shots before burying a smooth step-back jumper of his own. He also scored a hockey-assist leading to this filthy Irving dime to Al Horford at the rim:
The Hornets did their best to attack the Celtics interior with Dwight Howard early. He went 4 of 5 for 8 points and a pair of boards in the 1st, keeping his team within striking distance at the end of the opening frame (24-20, Celtics).
Malik Monk buried a pair of threes early in the 2nd and the Hornets briefly snatched the lead before Terry Rozier got hot, hitting his first 3 shots for 7 points, and put the C's back in front. The Celtics starters returned to the game with Morris in Tatum's spot and they really got rolling as they rallied off a 10-2 run and showed some outstanding ball movement in the process. Irving and Brown led the C's in the first half, both finishing in double-figures:
#Celtics lead #Hornets 56-38 at halftime. Irving wth 14, Brown 10, Horford 7 and 6 rebs.
The C's starters came out to start the 2nd half and the hot shooting carried over with them. They hit 4 of their first 5 shots from deep and midway through the 3rd quarter and they were shooting 73% from three and led by 18 points (75-57).
All that outside shooting opened up the lane for Tatum to blow by Frank Kaminsky and Howard for this monster dunk:
With the C's up big the starters hit the bench late in the 3rd, and they looked to close out the game with their reserves led by Rozier. The Hornets rallied behind Monk and their 2nd unit, pulling within 3 points after a make from deep from their rookie shooting guard. They then took the lead for the 1st time since early in the 2nd quarter behind back-to-back buckets from big man Johnny O'Bryant.
The C's managed to hang on, and a pair of buckets from Shane Larkin to close out the game put the Hornets away. The next game counts, as the Celtics tipoff the NBA season next Tuesday against the Eastern Conference champs, the Cleveland Cavaliers.