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Recap: Hornets go cold in second half and lose to Celtics, 122-106

The Hornets got 31 points from LaMelo Ball but could only muster 40 second half points.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

LaMelo Ball had 31 points and nine assists, but cold shooting doomed the Charlotte Hornets in the second half as they lost to the Boston Celtics, 122-106.

Both teams came out of the gate firing. After Jayson Tatum missed the game’s first shot, the teams exchanged seven straight made shots, six of which were 3-pointers. The offenses briefly cooled off, but not for long. There was a point in the first quarter where the Hornets had made 11-of-15 shots but were still only tied with the Celtics. The Hornets held the visitors without a point for the final 3:49 of the quarter aside from a jumper from Malcolm Brogdon at the final buzzer. It helped the Hornets to a 34-31 lead after one.

The Hornets started the second quarter with a 14-3 run to take a 14 point lead and force a Celtics timeout. The run featured a rolling Nick Richards hook and was capped off by a deep LaMelo Ball 3-pointer. At the midway point of the second quarter, the Hornets were shooting 67% from the field. They were clearly feeling themselves as evidenced by a Jalen McDaniels mailman dunk on a breakaway.

The Hornets led by as many as 16 after Ball hit a one legged Dirk fadeaway, but the Celtics have the best record in the league for a reason. They upped their intensity and showed it by reeling in three offensive rebounds in one possession that ended in a Robert Williams and-1. The Celtics closed half on a 15-4 run spearheaded by Jayson Tatum. At the half the Hornets led 66-62 with LaMelo Ball’s 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists the catalyst for the lead.

The Hornets couldn’t keep the good offense rolling into the second half. Mason Plumlee was the only Hornet to score in the first five minutes of the third quarter, which is not a good sign. Ball finally broke the seal for non-Plumlee Hornets at the 6:10 mark, but by that point the Celtics had taken a small lead. Jumpers from PJ Washington and Terry Rozier were able to stem the tide a little bit, but more Tatum buckets and a Grant Williams three gave the Celtics a 10 point lead that they took with them to the fourth quarter thanks to a second Malcolm Brogdon buzzer beater.

Cody Martin started the fourth quarter with a spinning layup while being fouled. But even with Tatum on the bench, the Hornets couldn’t make up any ground. Malcolm Brogdon carried the scoring burden until the Celtics got their star back on the floor. Meanwhile the Hornets struggled to get good looks at the basket and the offense continued to sputter. The Celtics lead gradually grew to the mid-teens by the midway point of the fourth, and it settled there for the rest of the contest.

LaMelo Ball had his streak of consecutive games with multiple 3-pointers made snapped at 18 games, but he still went shot for shot with Jayson Tatum. Terry Rozier chipped in a quiet 21 points while PJ Washington scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half.

The Hornets played a decent game against a Celtics team that holds the best record in the league and it was an entertaining game despite the loss.

The Hornets will take on this same Celtics team on Monday afternoon at 1:00.