Davis, the team's second-leading scorer, sat out because of back
pain, ending his consecutive games streak at 262. Without him, New
Orleans committed 24 turnovers and allowed Boston to make 10
"Normally they are a low turnover team, but with Baron Davis
out we felt like we could put more pressure on them,'' Pierce said.
It was the first time Davis has missed a game in his four-year
career. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Courtney
The loss was the second in a row for New Orleans. The Hornets
are 2-6 on the road and 9-0 at home this season.
"Any time you can get a win against somebody that's ahead of
you in the standings, it's a good win,'' Boston coach Jim O'Brien
said. "I thought we played a solid basketball game with the
exception of missing nine foul shots.''
The Celtics were 22-of-31 from the free-throw line and hit nine
of 28 3-point attempts.
"Mash was our go-to guy early and late,'' Hornets coach Paul
Silas said. "We really missed not having another scorer on the
The Celtics took an 80-69 lead on Pierce's dunk with 8:24 to
play. A 10-2 Boston run featuring 3-pointers by Walker and Shammond
Williams gave the Celtics their biggest lead, 92-78, with 1:30
The Celtics held a double-digit lead twice early in the fourth
quarter, but Mashburn's jump shot cut it to 82-76 with 6:50 left.
On the ensuing possession, Walker's 3-pointer as he was falling
to the floor out of bounds triggered a 7-2 Celtics spurt.
"I wouldn't say it was a knockout punch, but it had a
significant impact on us,'' Mashburn said.
The Hornets were held without a field goal for four minutes late
in the fourth quarter.
Pierce and Walker each scored 15 points in the first half as the
Celtics took a 51-46 lead at the break.
The Hornets went 6-of-16 from the field in the third quarter,
and Walker and Pierce each scored five more points to help Boston
take a 71-65 lead into the final period.
Boston used a 7-0 run, capped by a three-point play by Pierce,
to take a 64-54 lead with 5:26 left in the third. A 3-pointer by
Walker boosted the lead to 71-60 with 47 seconds remaining in the
The Hornets closed with a 5-0 run to cut into Boston's lead.
The Celtics won two of three meetings last season. However,
the lone Hornets win came in Boston. ... O'Brien said Kedrick Brown
practiced with the team Saturday and could be ready to play Friday,
when Boston hosts the New York Knicks. ... The Hornets have the
third-best record in the Eastern Conference over the past five