BOSTON — It was only fitting that one of the last plays of the night for the Celtics was Avery Bradley losing the ball with little to no pressure applied by the Charlotte Bobcats.
From the opening tip to the final horn, the Celtics found themselves making one inexplicable mistake after another, putting them in full blown play-from-behind mode all night as the Bobcats escaped with a 89-83 victory on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Not only did the loss end Boston's four-game winning streak, but it was also the first game this season in which the Celtics were unable to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
Despite Boston's struggles, they cut the deficit to two (85-83) after a 3-point play by Jordan Crawford.
But on the ensuing possession, Boston wasn't able to keep former Celtic Al Jefferson off the boards as his put-back basket gave the Bobcats a four-point lead with 17.7 seconds to play and essentially put the game away
Jefferson, playing in just his third game of the season, led all scorers 22 points and 10 rebounds. Boston got strong nights from Jeff Green (19 points) and Crawford (16 points).
It was a night when shots that normally fell for Boston rimmed in and out, loose balls that they would hawk down seemed to sail out of bounds or into the hands of a Charlotte player.
And while Charlotte certainly deserves credit for the victory, many of Boston's shortcomings were self-inflicted wounds.
After two free throws by Kelly Olynyk cut Charlotte's lead to three, Boston got a stop defensive and soon converted that into two free-throw attempts for Jeff Green.
Green, a 74.4 percent free-throw shooter coming into the game, missed both.
Boston had another chance to cut into the lead or tie the score, only to have Green whistled for an offensive foul with Boston behind 78-75 at the time.
And symbolic of the kind of night it was for the Celtics (4-5), Charlotte's Anthony Tolliver got off a 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock, giving the Bobcats an 81-75 lead.
Then came the turnovers, missed open shots and an assortment of momentum-killing mishaps for the Celtics who shot only 37.7 percent from the field.