The Boston Celtics have been an incredibly weird team this season. There’s been an overarching feeling that they’re never performing up to their collective ability, and while their highs are extremely high, their lows are just as low. The latest example of the latter came on Saturday night during their 124-117 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
A seven-point road loss without Al Horford and Gordon Hayward doesn’t look like much on the surface, but the way it happened was nothing short of spectacular. The Celtics blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead en route to the loss, one that happened because Charlotte closed the game on an unfathomable 30-5 run.
With 8:21 left to play, Jaylen Brown scored to push Boston’s lead to 18, a 112-94 lead that had he potential to be insurmountable. But as you can probably guess, Kemba Walker had something to say about this. The Hornets’ All-Star guard had an unreal 18 points in the fourth quarter, including this gigantic triple to give Charlotte a lead it would not relinquish.
Walker, as you can guess, was a monster all evening, going for 36 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
Boston did have a chance to come back down the stretch, but a contested Terry Rozier triple did not go in.
Charlotte deserves a ton of credit — coming back from a deficit like that is really, really hard, and it is a bit unfair to this effort that the attention will ultimately be on the Celtics. Still, this is a brutal loss that Boston could not afford as they fight to get a top-4 seed in the Eastern Conference.