Pierce’s late basket leads Boston over Charlotte
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Paul Pierce’s driving layup with three-tenths of
a second remaining gave the Boston Celtics a 90-89 win over the Charlotte
Bobcats at TD Banknorth Garden.
Pierce finished with a game-high 27 points and added eight rebounds and four
assists for Boston, which snapped a two-game skid.
Ricky Davis poured in 25 points to go with six assists, and Raef LaFrentz had
a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Brevin Knight and Gerald Wallace each scored 17 points for the Bobcats, who
have lost three of their last four. Emeka Okafor had 13 points and 11 boards
for Charlotte, while Keith Bogans contributed 10 points off the bench.
With the game knotted at 80-80 late in the final quarter, Pierce muscled the
ball away from Okafor and raced the length of the floor before hitting a
gliding layup to put Boston on top. Boston was unable to shake the Bobcats,
however, and Charlotte surged ahead to take an 89-86 lead in the final minute.
Pierce quickly swooped in for a layup on the other end to draw the Celtics to
within one with 29 seconds to play.
A jump ball was then called with 5.1 seconds on the clock after Knight got
tied up, and the Celtics won possession. After a timeout, Pierce got the ball,
drove immediately to the basket and hit a finger roll layup with three-tenths
of a second remaining for the win.
“I was a little surprised (to be that open),” Pierce said. “The play was drawn
up for me to come off the hand-off and create a shot, but I saw the lane open
up and I just kept going to the basket. We did a great job of executing.”
Knight admitted there was probably a mental breakdown on the last-second play.
“That last possession I think me and Kareem (Rush) just had a little
miscommunication,” Knight said. “When I came back to the left, I saw Ricky
Davis come at me and Kareem was still in the corner. The last play we just
didn’t execute defensively. We were supposed to switch everything and we just
After a tightly-contested first half that ended with Charlotte up 48-47,
Boston outscored the Bobcats 22-17 in the third quarter to assume a 69-65
Ricky Davis made a pair of free throws late in the third to put Boston up
65-50, and LaFrentz followed with a fast break layup that gave the Celtics
their largest lead at seven points. Baskets by Sean May and Raymond Felton in
the final minutes whittled the lead down to two before Al Jefferson’s tip-in
with 26 seconds remaining made it a four-point Boston advantage after three
Charlotte stormed back midway through the fourth quarter to tie the contest.
Wallace hit a layup with 8:07 to play to make it 75-72, and Rush followed with
a three-pointer that evened the contest with 7:23 remaining.
The Celtics’ Delonte West, who was listed as questionable for this game
because of a hip injury, was inactive…Boston’s Mark Blount was benched for
disciplinary reasons…Charlotte is 1-6 on the road this season…Boston has
won five of the six meetings between the clubs.