The Charlotte Hornets got a much-needed victory Saturday night at the Spectrum Center, using a huge fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Celtics, 124-117.
The Hornets trailed by 18 points with 8:21 to play, 112-94, but outscored Boston 30-5 over the final 7½ minutes to come with a victory that kept their fading playoff hopes alive for another day.
Kemba Walker, slowed much of the evening by a tough Celtics defense, scored 18 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, and stole the show from Boston’s Kyrie Irving, who was the star for most of the evening. But when it mattered most, Walker outscored Irving in the fourth quarter, 18-2. Irving, who still finished with 31 points, his fifth straight 30-point game, shot just 1-for-5 from the field in the fourth quarter, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.
Walker finished one assist shy of a triple double, with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
Charlotte, which played without Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, got some solid production from its young core, especially Miles Bridges, who for the second straight game set a personal milestone.
One game after recording his first double-double against the Hornets, Bridges scored a career-high 20 points to go along with 7 rebounds. In addition, second-year guards Malik Monk (13 points) and Dwayne Bacon (11) combined for 24 points.
Miles Bridges vs. Boston Celtics March 23, 2019
The Hornets, who won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 1-2, will try to complete a sweep of their back-to-back set when they take on the Raptors in Toronto Sunday.
Charlotte comes back home on Tuesday to host the Spurs before embarking on a four-game road trip against Western Conference opponents.