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The main moment

The Boston Celtics sleepwalked through the first 20-plus minutes of Saturday’s game with Charlotte before Rob Williams snapped them out of their slumber.

Williams used his elite energy in the final three-plus minutes of the first half to wake up the C’s after they fell behind by as many as 16 points. Just 12 seconds into one possession, Williams picked up an offensive rebound, assisted on another and then grabbed another before laying home a one-and-one to put the Boston faithful on their feet.

That one possession really seemed to spark the C’s back as they continued to dominate the rest of the quarter and throughout the game. Jayson Tatum hit a home run, then hit a 3-pointer, and then Malcolm Brogdon nailed a triple for a 10-0 Celtics lead with just 1:27 to play.

That run cut a 15-point deficit to five, and the C’s cut it to four by halftime.

Just like that, within minutes, Charlotte blew its chance to put Boston away, and the Celtics rode the momentum.

Boston carried that momentum into the second half and regained the lead at 73-72 at the 7:24 mark of the third period. The Celts led the rest of the way, eventually leading by as many as 18 points en route to a 122-106 victory.

Main player

Al Horford quietly put together what might be his best all-around stats of the season Saturday night in Charlotte.

Horford, playing nearly 33 minutes, had 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals and helped Boston outscore Charlotte by 11 points when he was on the floor. His 16 points were his most since grabbing 17 rebounds on Dec. 23, and his six assists tied a season high.

The big man also had an efficient shooting night while scoring 16 points. He made six of his 10 shots overall, including 4-for-7 from long range. He is now shooting 44.1 percent overall from long range on the season.

Box Score Nuggets:

  • Boston hit 19 shots from long range, while Charlotte hit just eight.
  • Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 33 points.
  • Malcolm Brogdon led all reserves with 30 points.
  • Marcus Smart led the game with 12 assists to just two turnovers.
  • LaMelo Ball led Charlotte with 31 points.
  • The Hornets scored 60 points in the paint to Boston’s 48.
  • Al Horford led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals..
  • Rob Williams led Boston with 12 boards and Mason Plumlee had a game-high 16 for Charlotte..
  • Both teams had 46 rebounds during the contest.
  • The Celtics had a season-high 36 assists.

Quote of the night

“I felt like they were playing at a different level than us and we had to match that intensity and for us it started with Rob (Williams) and his energy.”

– Al Horford on what turned the night around for Boston


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