Celtics skin 'Cats, 105-88

Celtics skin 'Cats, 105-88
March 16, 2013, 9:45 pm
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BOSTON — For the second time in less than a week, the Boston Celtics faced the Charlotte Bobcats without one of their key players.

But every game is different, which is a good thing for the Celtics who delivered one devastating run after another in the second half in easily defeating the Bobcats, 105-88.

Boston had six double figure scorers led by Jason Terry's 15 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Charlotte's Jannero Pargo led all scorers with 18 points although the bulk of those points came when the game was out of reach.

Moments before the game, Celtics coach announced that Kevin Garnett would not play because of what team officials later said was a left adductor strain. He is being listed as day-to-day, which makes him questionable for Monday's highly anticipated game against the Miami Heat.

His absence did not hurt the C's efforts on Saturday, especially in the third quarter which is when the Celtics really began to put some distance between themselves and the Bobcats.

After former UConn star Kemba Walker scored to cut Boston's lead to 53-49, the Cs countered with a blistering 22-8 run to take a commanding 75-57 lead. The C's control remained throughout the third which ended with the Celtics ahead 83-66.

Several players stepped up during the run, but few stood out like Courtney Lee who had seven points in the first seven-plus minutes of the third after scoring just five in the first half.

Boston seemingly had the game put away and before you knew it, the C's lead was down to just 13 points (99-86) with 3:24 to play after teetering on the north side of 20 points for the bulk of the fourth quarter.

And after a Celtics time-out, the C's got a pair of free throws out of Jason Terry and a mid-range jumper from the veteran to increase their lead to 103-86 and maybe more important, all but extinguish any comeback hopes the Bobcats might have had.

With the win, the Celtics (36-29) won their 11th straight game at home.

The last time the C's had a double-digit winning streak at the TD Garden was during the 2008-2009 season (Nov. 18, 2008 - Jan. 2, 2009) when they reeled off 13 straight wins.

The Celtics had a strong start to the game and led by as many as nine points (22-13) in the quarter. However, the C's came up on the short end of an 11-2 run to end the quarter which left things all knotted up at 24 at the end of the first.

Boston regained control of the game in the second quarter, only to once again allow the Bobcats to get back into it and make it relatively close.

After a 3-pointer by Boston's Jordan Crawford put the C's ahead 40-31, Charlotte responded with a 10-2 run that brought the Bobcats within a point.

Boston got a driving lay-up by Jeff Green and a three- point play by Paul Pierce to create some breathing room.

Pierce opened things up a bit more with a 3-pointer that put the C's back on top by nine points (50-41).

However, Charlotte's rebounding and some timely shot-making by former UConn star Kemba Walker (10 points in the first half) kept the game from getting totally out of hand as the half ended with the C's ahead 50-43.