The NBA will officially list the Celtics’ 94-91 loss to the Bobcats as having occurred on Monday, Feb. 11. But the seeds of a defeat that snapped a seven-game winning streak were sown the night before when the Celts survived in triple overtime against Denver.
Their needle hanging on “E,” the Bostonians surrendered the last seven points last night, going scoreless in the final 2:14 to fall for the first time since Rajon Rondo went out with a torn ACL.
And as the Celts left the arena, there was concern the loss could run deeper, as Leandro Barbosa left with a knee injury that team sources were saying could cost him the rest of the season.
But as far as what the Celtics could control last night, well, they ultimately couldn’t.
Kevin Garnett’s 14-footer put them ahead 91-87, but they would miss their last six shots. Jason Terry, who appeared to save them earlier in the period, missed a 3-pointer and Garnett failed from 22 feet.
Gerald Henderson then pushed the ball up floor and received far too little resistance as he drilled a trey with 1:01 left. After an Avery Bradley miss, Courtney Lee and Bradley were caught on a switch as the latter twisted his ankle (“I’ll be fine,” he said later), leaving Ramon Sessions with an open jumper that gave the Bobcats the lead with 25 seconds to go.
Kemba Walker hit two free throws after another KG miss, and neither Paul Pierce nor Bradley could get a 3-pointer to go down as the clock ran out.
“We got great shots,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Listen, they beat us in transition basically all game. They got a lot of early offense. Even the 3 they got where they just pushed the ball (Henderson’s) — we’re a great matchup team and tonight we just couldn’t get back to match up. Then we missed a lot of shots, front rim, which is typical with tired legs. But give them credit. I thought they competed and hung in there. We got the five-point lead, and usually we close that game out, and we didn’t.
Bobcats put end to Celtics' 7-game win streak
Boston Herald | Feb 12