Final: Hornets 97-78: This one was as bad as it reads. The Celtics had nothing in the fourth quarter after cutting the lead to 9 and were flat embarrassed by a team not picked to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Jarrett Jack led the Hornets with 21 and Carl Landry added 20 and 11 rebounds. Ray Allen paced Boston with 15. Besides Allen and Rajon Rondo, the rest of the Celtics were 19 for 60 from the field. The Celtics are 0-3 for the first time in five years.
Fourth quarter, 8:00, Hornets 81-67: The Celtics have little left to offer tonight. Their leading scorer is Rajon Rondo with 13 points and they are shooting 36.8 percent from the field. They look tired and New Orleans has made all the plays. The Hornets have five players in double figures, led by Jarrett Jack with 19.
End of third quarter, Hornets 72-63: Celtics with another mini-run to end the quarter to stay within striking distance. It would be different if it were the Knicks or Heat, but the Celtics are being completely outplayed by the Hornets without Eric Gordon. There is a reason for concern. Rajon Rondo has 13 points for Boston.
Third quarter, 4:06, Hornets 67-54: The Hornets have a balanced attack and the Celtics have no idea what to do with Jarrett Jack, who is creating for himself and teammates with 14 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Four Hornets have scored in double figures.
Third quarter, 9:17, Hornets 56-44: The Celtics just can’t get a stop and their defense, or lack thereof, has become a serious problem. New Orleans has balanced scoring with Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack each with 12 points. Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have 8 points apiece for Boston.
Halftime, Hornets 48-39: It’s been a difficult half for the Celtics, who are fouling at an alarming rate and shooting 32 percent from the field. Kevin Garnett has just 4 points and Jermaine O’Neal 2 on 1-for-5 shooting. You wanted to know what the Celtics would look like in the third game in four nights and this is what it is. It’s ugly.
Second quarter, 2:50, Hornets 42-30: It’s going to be a grind tonight for the Celtics, who have committed 12 fouls and are shooting 34 percent.
Second quarter, 5:03, Hornets 36-29: The Celtics are fouling way too much and the Hornets aren’t fouling at all. New Orleans has attempted 11 free throws to the Celtics’ zero and have yet to commit a foul this half.
Second quarter, 7:45, Hornets 30-24: The Celtics have been outscored, 28-15, since taking a 9-2 lead and it’s been ugly. They have already commited 10 personal fouls to New Orleans’ 4 and they are shooting 35 percent from the field. Marquis Daniels has already taken eight shots, four more than anyone else on team.
End of first quarter, Hornets 24-18: New Orleans ends the quarter on an 11-2 run as the Celtics look lethargic and foul-prone again. They commited seven fouls in the quarter and sent the Hornets to the free throw line seven times. They Celtics have not attempted a free throw. Marco Bellinelli has 7 points for the Hornets and Jarrett Jack has 6.
First quarter, 4:16, Celtics 14-13: The Hornets made an 8-0 run to take the lead and now the teams are just trading baskets. Five Celtics have scored but they are allowing Jarrett Jack to get off early. He has 4 points.
First quarter, 8:23, Celtics 9-2: Jermaine O’Neal already has a dunk and Sasha Pavlovic has 4 as the Celtics try to get off to a fast start. New Orleans, which is without Eric Gordon, is 1-for-5 shooting.