Kemba Walker scored 36 points to go with 11 rebounds and 9 assists while Miles Bridges scored a career high 20 as the Charlotte Hornets rallied from an 18-point fourth quarter deficit to take down the Boston Celtics, 124-117.
The first half was an offensive clinic, as the teams combined to connect on 20-of-38 3-pointers and over 50% of their shots from the field. It ended with the Celtics taking a 65-64 lead into intermission. They were led by Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown, who combined to score 35 of those 65 points. The Hornets were paced by Kemba Walker’s 13 and Miles Bridges’ 11 first half points.
The game looked to be spiraling out of the Hornets’ control late in the third quarter. After going shot for shot with the Celtics for the first ten minutes of the period, they buckled down the stretch. The Celtics scored the last eight points of the third quarter and took an 89-80 lead into the final period.
Their run continued through the start of the fourth. It reached its peak with 8:21 left in the game. At that point, Boston run was 22-5, and their lead was 112-94. Oftentimes this season, that would be where the story would end. That wasn’t the case tonight.
The Hornets ripped off 14 straight points, a run that included four 3-pointers made. Jaylen Brown finally ended the run with a 3-pointer of his own, but he was quickly matched by another trey ball from Walker. The Hornets took the lead about a minute and a half later on Walker’s sixth 3-pointer of the night. They wouldn’t relinquish that lead as they scored the game’s final nine points. Walker and Marvin Williams converted on all six of their free throw attempts down the stretch to ice the game.
The Hornets showed impressive resolve to come back from a situation that’s buried them all too often this year. It was yet another magical performance from Kemba Walker as he makes a final push for All NBA consideration.
Miles Bridges gets a special shout out for his third consecutive milestone performance. He notched his first double figure rebounding game on Tuesday, his first double double on Thursday, and his first 20-point performance tonight. As has been the case in his breakout, he contributed all across the box score, adding 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals to his tally. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.7 steals per game with only one turnover. It’s an extremely small sample, but hopefully it’s something we can point to later as the start of something special.
The Hornets don’t have much time to enjoy this win. They’ve got to hop on a plane to fly across the border to take on the Toronto Raptors Sunday evening.