Kemba Walker scored 23 points and made four 3-pointers in 25 minutes of play, while Dwight Howard and Frank Kaminsky chipped in with 21 and 16 points respectively, but the Hornets were still blown out by the Celtics, 134-106, thanks in large part to the Celtics shooting 62.1 percent from the field.
The game started as the Kemba vs. Celtics show. The Celtics poured in 19 points in the game’s first five minutes while Kemba scored 11 of the Hornets’ 13 during that same span. Following a Hornets timeout, Howard, Nicolas Batum, and Marvin Williams got in on the action, each scoring baskets in the few minutes that followed.
The Hornets finished the first with 31 points on 13-for-24 shooting. Unfortunately, the Celtics connected on 15 of their 25 field goal attempts en route to 37 points. Kemba led the way for the Hornets with 11 and Kyrie led the Celtics with 16 points in the frame.
The second unit started the second quarter about as poorly as a team can start a quarter. Willy Hernangomez introduced himself to Hornets fans by being repeatedly destroyed in the post by Greg Monroe. On the other end, the Hornets could only connect on one shot in the first 3+ minutes as the Celtics jumped out to a 14 point lead.
The Hornets were able to stop the bleeding a bit by reinserting Marvin Williams into the game and sliding Kaminsky to the 5. Kemba Walker’s return to the lineup saw his hot shooting continue, and a couple threes and a couple mid-rangers brought the Hornets back within 4.
The tail end of the first half was marked by some of the most absurd offensive basketball you’ll ever see. Between 4:29 and 0:25 remaining in the second quarter, the teams combined to connect on 14 out of 15 shot attempts. After the two way barrage, the Hornets trailed 67-59. Kemba led the way for the Hornets with 21 points on perfect 8/8 shooting while Howard and Kaminsky chipped in with 15 and 8 points respectively. Kyrie Irving paced the Celtics with 24 points in the half.
The Celtics started the second half on a 9-2 run, prompting a Steve Clifford timeout with 9:37 in the third quarter. At that point, the Celtics were shooting a blistering 66 percent from the field. The Celtics were unfazed and connected on three of their next four shots, prompting another Hornets timeout, now down 84-65. Again, the timeout had no effect. Kyrie Irving decided to make all of his shots, and it seemed to rub off on his teammates. Meanwhile the Hornets didn’t shoot so well, and it led to a 24 point deficit after three quarters- 103-79.
Malik Monk made a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. It didn’t mean anything, but it was fun. Dwayne Bacon had a nifty finish in the lane. It also didn’t mean anything, but it was also fun. Even with the bench brigades coming in early, the story remained largely the same. The Celtics continued to score at will while the Hornets took much more laborious routes to points. A couple Dwayne Bacon buckets for the Hornets were followed by a Terry Rozier jumper with 1:16 remaining to set the final margin at 134-106.