This time, within the confines of their own building, the C’s took down the lowly Bobcats, 105-88.
Entering Saturday night, trends were in Boston’s favor. It had won 10 straight home games, and Charlotte had lost 16 of its last 18 on the road. That being said, the Bobcats came out with a deserved confidence after beating Boston twice, and the game was tied at 24 after the first quarter.
In the first half, the Celtics shot the ball well—especially when Paul Pierce was on the floor—but the problem was sloppy play. They allowed the Bobcats to score 13 points off of turnovers, and that’s making things too easy for a team that has just 14 wins on the year.
To begin the second half, Boston was playing a much crisper brand of basketball. It executed in transition, moved the ball well and avoided the turnovers that plagued it early in the contest.
Halfway through the third period, the Celtics had their biggest lead of the game, and they would enter the fourth up 83-66.
As soon as the final period began, you knew Boston had this one in check. The reserves were hitting from deep, fast breaks led to lobs at the rim and everyone was playing with a confidence that put this game to rest.
Take a victory over the Bobcats for what it is—a win against a bad team—but know that revenge and playoff seeding were both on the minds of this group Saturday night.
Avery Bradley got his points Saturday night, but his performance was less-than-impressive from an efficiency standpoint.
Everybody in the Boston Celtics' starting lineup shot well except for Bradley. The 22-year-old entered the fourth quarter as the second-leading scorer, yet he was the only player of the first five to shoot less than 55.9 percent.
Bradley would hit the bench for the entire fourth with the game under control.
Where you can credit the point guard is in his ability to get to the rim. His shot wasn't falling, and while he wasn't bashful in his attempts (4-of-12), he managed to score four of his 13 points at the line with perfect shooting.
Take the good with the bad in a game like this, as nothing Bradley did was bad enough to give momentum to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Courtney Lee had an efficient game all-around against the Charlotte Bobcats. He scored 12 points in 31 minutes, and he gathered three assists in simple drive-and-kick situations.
Defensively, Lee could have done a better job, at times, bodying up Gerald Henderson, but he helped hold him well below the 35 he scored last time. Lee had three blocks during the game, and finished a plus-22 in the plus-minus category.
On the glass, Lee also made his presence felt. He pulled down two on offense and three on defense.
Statistics will certainly follow with efficiency, but energy is one thing you can't put a number on. Whether in the half court or the fast break, Lee played at a high pace in this one, and that's what led to easy buckets for him and his teammates.
Paul Pierce was the clear leader of this team Saturday night, and that notion was never more clear than when he was on the bench.
The 35-year-old picked up two fouls in the first quarter and was forced to sit for much of the second. He played just 14 minutes in the half, and the team struggled to create good looks without him on the floor.
Despite playing the fewest first-half minutes of any starter, Pierce entered the third quarter as the team's high scorer. He finished the night with 14 points on a solid 4-of-7 shooting.
Scoring wasn't the only department where Pierce found success. As a result of creating offense, he picked up eight assists while also managing to grab six rebounds.
The last time these two teams faced off, the Boston Celtics were without Pierce's scoring, as he was absent from the lineup. This time around, they got what they missed, and they took down an opponent who should have no business beating them twice in one year.
Back on March 12, Green couldn't get his shot going, but he was able to get to the foul line better than anyone on the roster. Saturday night, his shot was falling, and he put together an extremely well-rounded performance.
For a guy like Green, the best way to gain confidence is by getting to the rim. That's what he did against the Charlotte Bobcats, and he scored 10 points on 55.6 percent shooting as a result.
In the rebounding department, he filled his role nicely at the 4. He used his length to pull down boards, and he grabbed a few that might have gone the other way if he weren't such an athlete.
Green even got involved in the passing game, as his four assists were a by-product of infectious ball movement.
In the absence of Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass slid over to the center position against the Charlotte Bobcats. He hasn't been the most reliable player this year, but there's nothing like the worst team in the NBA to give you confidence.
Bass got off to a good start in this one. Charlotte was backing off him in the mid-range, and the big man took advantage, knocking down his first three shots.
He would only go on to shoot 2-of-6 the rest of the way, but 55.6 percent shooting is beyond respectable for someone shooting just 45.6 percent on the year.
On the glass, Bass never stood out, but neither did any other Celtics starter. He, Paul Pierce and Jeff Green combined for six , six and five respectively, and the three of them did what needed to be done against the fourth-worst rebounding team in the league.
Jason Terry played a great 22 minutes Saturday, but there was a two-possession sequence that defined his entire night.
It doesn't take much to get Terry going, and a deep transition three-pointer was what did it this time. The very next play, Terry brought the ball down the floor and launched from long range again.
The ball dropped, burying any hopes the Charlotte Bobcats had of making a comeback.
When Terry is on, there's nobody who's going to convince him to stop shooting. He completed five of his six attempts against the Bobcats, including all three of his three-point shots.
This game was all about Terry's shooting, as he scored 15 points, but a block, a steal, two assists and three rebounds pulled his performance together nicely.
The Boston Celtics' bench played brilliantly Saturday night.
With Kevin Garnett out of the lineup and Paul Pierce in foul trouble, the second unit got to work early without a No. 1 option on the floor. It's no secret that the team lost point production when Pierce went to the bench, but the reserves managed to score 18 points on 50 percent shooting in the first half alone.
Aside from Jason Terry, the standout performer in this one was Shavlik Randolph. The big man scored just six points on 3-of-9 shooting, but he grabbed eight boards and collected two steals as an added bonus.
Jordan Crawford also grabbed eyes, as he found a nice blend of taking shots and finding his teammates. He was certainly guilty of trying to make plays out of nothing, but oftentimes, he was making smart decisions and making plays for others.
On the night, the bench scored 46 points and shot better than 51 percent. Take those numbers with the knowledge that this game was in garbage time the entire fourth quarter, but don't ignore the production that came when many teams would have become complacent.