After a losing the first four games of their five-game road trip, the Charlotte Hornets are looking to close it out with a win in Boston.
The Charlotte Hornets (20-20) are set to take on the Boston Celtics (25-15) as they close out their five-game road trip. They are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their last outing. Charlotte has lost four straight games, six of their last seven in total, and five consecutive away from home.
In their last game, the Celtics were able to defeat the Atlanta Hawks, 103-101. They have won their last two matches and have come out on top in their last six home games. Boston already has a 2-0 lead in the season series against the Hornets and a win in this one would give them a win in their matchups this year.
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This is always a good meeting between two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference but with Charlotte’s recent struggles, many would expect the home team to run away with this one. The Hornets are in a tough spot but they are in desperate need of a victory so they should play with an added edge. Kemba Walker wasn’t about to appear in their last match in Boston earlier this season so having him in the starting lineup will surely have a huge impact on the game.
OUT – Jeremy Lamb (metatarsal inflammation), missed last game (1/13)
James Young – Right Ankle Sprain – OUT
Tyler Zeller – Sinus Infection – OUT
Avery Bradley – Strained Right Achilles – Questionable
Despite having the second lowest turnovers per game so far this season at 12.1, the Hornets committed a season-high 19 in their last outing. That led to their eventual downfall at the hands of the Sixers. They will need to be better at taking care of the ball in this one as the Celtics won’t give them extra possessions.
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Boston ranks fifth in the league with only 12.6 turnovers per game. If Charlotte can get back to their old ways of not turning the ball over, it will help them immensely. As is for most games, the team that has fewer turnovers will likely walk away with the win.
Matchup to Watch:
Kemba Walker vs Isaiah Thomas
Both of these point guards are playing at an all-star level this season but one of them may miss the all-star game. Walker and Thomas are each battling among other Eastern Conference guards to try and secure their spot on the East’s all-star roster and this game could go a long way in that discussion. If Kemba can out duel Isaiah in this one, it will not only improve his all-star argument but also give his team a better chance at grabbing a win.
Thomas is having an outstanding season and is fourth in the NBA in scoring with 28.2 points per game. Even though he only stands at 5’9, Isaiah is almost impossible to stop or even slow down. It will be a tough task for Kemba but to help prove his all-star candidacy, he will need to outplay the Celtics’ point guard.