NBA

Wed, Oct 28, 2009 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Celtics 104, Bobcats 80

Share This Story

   
 

BOSTON (AP)

To win in the playoffs, the Boston Celtics know they will have to do a better job defending their home court. Their latest win was a step in the right direction.

Paul Pierce scored 27 points and a stingy Celtics defense held the Charlotte Bobcats to 29 percent shooting in the second half of Boston's 104-80 victory Wednesday night.

``If we just played a little better at home, we probably would have the best record in the league from the way we have been playing on the road,'' Pierce said. ``This is the place that we have to start establishing ourselves and make it a place like in the past couple of years where teams don't want to play here, especially going into the playoffs.''

The Celtics, winners of their last two, have the second-lowest home winning percentage - .607 - of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. Only the Miami Heat, currently holding on to the eighth playoff spot in the conference, have a lower percentage at home.

The road, however, has been a different story. At 21-10, the Celtics trail only the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best road record in the conference.

``I don't buy all this stuff that they're in trouble,'' Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. ``They're just starting to get healthy. They're going to be fine.''

Pierce, who returned on Tuesday in the Celtics' win over the Pistons after missing three games with a sprained right thumb, scored 13 points in the third quarter to help stretch the Celtics' nine-point halftime lead to 82-61 on his layup to end the quarter.

``Paul has been banged up a little bit, so it is good to see him have a game like this,'' said Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, who scored 12 points.

The Bobcats, losers of five of six, were held to 16 points on 25 percent shooting in the quarter. It was the third time this season that the Celtics defeated the Bobcats by at least 15 points. They won 92-59 - Charlotte's lowest point total of the season - at home on opening night, and then 108-90 in Charlotte on Dec. 1.

Nate Robinson had 16 points, including three 3-pointers in a 90-second span bridging the first and second quarters to key a 16-0 run, for the Celtics.

``He's our X-factor in a lot of ways,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. ``I don't know if we need him to play great to win, but I know when he plays great that it's tough for us to lose.''

Tyrus Thomas had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bobcats, losers of five of six, and D.J. Augustin scored 12 points. Charlotte's leading scorers coming in, Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, were held to a combined 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

The Bobcats trailed 37-21 after the Celtics' big early run. However, Charlotte took advantage of five Boston turnovers later in the quarter to pull to 42-41 on a reverse layup by Stephen Graham.

The Celtics finished off the half with a 12-4 run to take a 54-45 lead into the break.

NOTES: Pierce passed Terry Cummings to move into 40th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Rajon Rondo, who tied a Celtics record with seven straight games of seven or more assists, had that streak snapped. He finished with eight points and six assists. Kendrick Perkins was back after missing the Celtics' game against the Pistons with flu-like symptoms. It was the first game he missed this season. He finished with eight points. Injuries continue to decimate the Bobcats frontcourt. Tyson Chandler (sore left foot, ankle) and DeSagana Diop (right MCL sprain) each missed their seventh straight contest and Nazr Mohammed, out with back spasms, missed his fifth consecutive game.

Tagged: Celtics, Pistons, Nazr Mohammed, Paul Pierce, Tyson Chandler, DeSagana Diop, Kevin Garnett, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Hornets, Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Stephen Graham, Tyrus Thomas, Rajon Rondo, D.J. Augustin

Related Stories


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..