NBA: Celtics take down Hornets for third straight win

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 03 2022 12:00 PM

Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) and center Robert Williams III (44) defend against Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) in the second half at TD Garden. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) and center Robert Williams III (44) defend against Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) in the second half at TD Garden. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Josh Richardson scored 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting off the bench to propel the host Boston Celtics to a 113-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

Boston moved to three games above the .500 mark for the first time this season following its third straight win and fifth in the last six. The loss was Charlotte's second straight.

Six Celtics had double-figure scoring nights. Marcus Smart posted 22, Jayson Tatum added 19 and handed out a team-high nine assists, and Jaylen Brown had 15.

HIGHLIGHTS:

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The hosts held a 103-95 lead with 3:08 left before allowing nine of the next 11 points, including a Terry Rozier 3-pointer from the top of the key and three LaMelo Ball free throws.

Another Rozier trey with 1:02 to play tied the score, but six straight points ended the game in Boston's favor. After Robert Williams blocked a potential go-ahead shot by P.J. Washington, his dunk iced the game with 4.8 ticks left.

Ball led Charlotte with a career-high 38 points. He and Washington hit four 3-pointers apiece. Rozier added 23 points for the Hornets.

The Celtics had a 27-22 edge in the first quarter and stretched their lead to a game-high 12 after Richardson nailed three consecutive 3-pointers in the first 1:32 of the second. That stretch accounted for half of Richardson's six triples.

Ten straight Charlotte points cut the score to one at 38-37 before the lead flipped following a 7-0 run that began with a Washington triple. Boston's Dennis Schroder and Smart delivered the last two field goals of the opening half.

Boston, which led by the slimmest of margins at 54-53 at halftime, opened up a 10-point lead just over four minutes into the third.

Charlotte never led in the quarter despite immediately erasing its deficit following Smart's five consecutive points to end the Boston spurt. The Celtics reestablished their double-digit advantage on Brown's jumper in the final seconds of the third.

Al Horford hit a pair of key 3-pointers in the third while leading Boston with 12 rebounds on the night.

Kelly Oubre Jr. (left ankle sprain) returned to action for Charlotte and added 15 points off the bench. Gordon Hayward still didn't travel with the Hornets due to health and safety protocols.