As their profitable streak reached six video games, the Celtics’ flaws have been masked by victories. Wins in Toronto and Memphis over the weekend have been marred by poor efforts, however the C’s stored discovering methods to win anyway. Even after profitable Sunday night time over the Grizzlies, coach Joe Mazzulla mentioned his group shouldn’t have received.
An evening later, the Celtics obtained the end result they deserved.
Through the primary 13 video games of this season, the Celtics had appeared to resolve the crunch time woes that killed them all through final season. But they took an enormous step again on Monday night time. Even with out Derrick White, the Celtics had greater than sufficient to shut the lowly Hornets however their unhealthy habits resurfaced in a brutal 121-118 loss.
Jayson Tatum scored 45 factors and Payton Pritchard added 21 in an enormous effort off the bench within the absence of White, however the Celtics’ latest run of uninspired play lastly got here again to hang-out them. The Celtics led by as many as 18 within the first half however let the Hornets stick round. Then they blew a nine-point lead over the ultimate two minutes of regulation that was a fruits of the lazy play that has plagued them during the last three video games.
“We had 29 points in transition given up, (they had) 20 second-chance points, 17 offensive rebounds, that’s not a recipe for success no matter who you’re playing, especially these guys,” C’s coach Joe Mazzulla informed reporters in Charlotte. “They don’t stop playing.”
LaMelo Ball scored 36 factors with 9 rebounds and eight assists to guide the undermanned and seemingly overmatched Hornets, who made sufficient performs to linger all through the night time earlier than placing the Celtics in crunch time.
The Celtics led 100-89 and appeared to be in agency management after Jrue Holiday’s 3-pointer with 2:20 remaining. But then they let their foot off the fuel. Mark Williams ignited the Hornets’ surge with a second-chance tip-in layup with 1:59 left earlier than the Celtics started misfiring offensively. Ball hit a 3-pointer to make it 108-104 after which after two extra Celtics misses, Williams’ second-chance layup reduce Boston’s result in two with 34 seconds remaining.
On the subsequent possession, Holiday was fouled on the rim by Ball with 11 seconds left and went to the free throw line with an opportunity to make it a two-possession recreation. But Holiday, who dedicated seven turnovers within the loss, missed each free throws. They have been Boston’s first two free throw misses in crunch time this season.
On the subsequent possession, Ball’s driving layup tied the sport and finally pressured extra time after Sam Hauser’s lengthy 3-point try missed.
The Celtics had 4 leads in extra time, together with Tatum’s 3-pointer with 58 seconds left. But on the subsequent possession, the C’s misplaced Gordon Hayward slicing for a game-tying dunk. Jaylen Brown then missed a 3-pointer, and on the subsequent Hornets possession, Miles Bridges drilled a desperation 3-pointer on the buzzer to offer them a 119-116 lead.
The C’s known as timeout and obtained a present as Tatum was fouled by Hayward taking pictures a 3-pointer. He went to the road with an opportunity to tie the sport, however after making the primary two, he missed the third. Bridges pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 1.7 seconds left.
But there was some controversy. It appeared Bridges was fouled with about 3.2 seconds remaining, however the clock stored ticking. The clock was not checked by the officiating crew. The Hornets inbounded the ball once more as a result of the C’s had a foul to offer and Hayward was fouled with 0.8 seconds left, which gave Boston little time to make a play after his free throws pushed Charlotte’s result in 121-118. Bridges intercepted the ultimate inbounds move to clinch the Hornets’ victory, and gave the C’s extra classes to be taught as they headed residence from a highway journey that gave them lots.
“You just have to take something from each game, and so this was our first overtime game where it was the first time we blew a lead and we have to go back and understand why we did it, and it comes from taking plays off and not finishing possessions,” Mazzulla mentioned.
Other takeaways and notes:
– The C’s, on the second night time of a back-to-back, have been seemingly on fumes within the fourth quarter. In addition to the absences of White and Al Horford, Brown was on the bench in foul hassle. The Celtics have been barely holding on as Mazzulla went to a singular bench lineup that included Pritchard, Hauser, Svi Mykhailiuk, Oshae Brissett and Luke Kornet to start out the ultimate interval. But the unit had a formidable stretch in a vital second.
After they gave up back-to-back buckets to start out the quarter, Mazzulla known as timeout however the unit responded with a 10-4 surge led by Pritchard, who made a number of massive performs together with a highlight-reel driving layup. The bench lineup handed a 97-89 lead again to the starters halfway by means of the fourth earlier than they failed to hold on. But it was an vital second as Mazzulla continues to look to belief his bench in these conditions.
– Tatum continued to dominate the Hornets, particularly in Charlotte, the place he has a number of followers from his enjoying days at close by Duke. After an terrible efficiency Sunday, when he dedicated eight turnovers and solely took one 3-pointer, Tatum bounced again in an enormous method as he scored 31 factors within the first half, matching his career-high for first-half factors. Tatum is now averaging 41.5 factors in his final six video games in opposition to the Hornets.
– White missed Monday’s recreation as a result of private causes, whereas Horford missed the sport as a result of relaxation as he continues to sit down one recreation of back-to-backs. It’s unclear if White will return for Wednesday’s recreation in opposition to the Bucks. Hauser took White’s place within the beginning lineup, however the hot-shooting ahead cooled off as he went simply 1-for-9 from lengthy vary in 37 minutes.