Aside from winning another game, Celtics' win over Hornets is a huge stepping stone before facing the Houston Rockets in a 3 in a row losing streak.
If consecutive losses will be the Rocket's drive to take on Celtics, it is the other way around for the green guys. They must step in front of Rockets as strong-looking as they could.
Irving scored 21 points to hold off Hornets but only hit 8 of his 19 shots. It is actually Al Horford who carried Celtics to victory with his efficient 20 points, 11 rebounds double-double performance, hitting 8 of 11 shots from the field including 4 out of 6 from beyond the arc.
On the other hand, Kemba Walker outshone Kyrie in the point guard matchup with 24 points but was seemingly alone during the game in terms of hustle.
Celtics beat the Hornets in three-point shooting, hitting 15 treys while letting Hornets only 7.
It was a good thing that the shaded area wasn't dominated by Hornets but still, Celtics' center Aron Baynes is missing in action. Baynes was thwarted by Dwight Howard with 17 rebounds, leaving him only with 9.
Celtics sizzled early to take over the 1st bout. Horford awakened the scoreboard with a trey followed by Baynes' bank shot both made possible by an assisting Kyrie Irving. The green guys opened a 12 point lead at the end of the opening quarter, 28 - 16.
2nd quarter commenced and the Hornets are trying to sprout mini runs to somehow close the gap but was erased by Celtics effective three-point shooting.
Kemba Walker rained down threes in the 3rd and the Hornets came back within one point to enter the final 12 minutes but it was the trio of Jayson Tatum, Horford and Irving to cease their comeback.
Going back to the upcoming Celtics Rockets game. Will Horford be able to suffice the needed inside control which Baynes lacks? Or would the mighty Clint Capela and James Harden finally recover from their losing streak?