Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Saturday, December 15th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 5th
Game 3: Friday, March 1st

Hornets 100

(29-29, 17-12 away)

Celtics 87

(31-27, 16-11 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 1, 2002

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 24 30 30 16100
    BOS 14 25 22 2687

    Top Performers

    Cha: B. Davis 19 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: P. Pierce 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Celtics never dig out of deep, early hole

    BOSTON (AP) -- Getting Jamal Mashburn back in the lineup has helped energize the Charlotte Hornets.

    Jamal Mashburn


    The Hornets are 4-3 since Jamal Mashburn returned from the injured list.

    Getting Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk hasn't done much for the Boston Celtics. Not yet, at least.

    Mashburn had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Baron Davis added 19 points and eight assists on Friday night as the Hornets scored the first 10 points of the game and coasted to a 100-87 victory over Boston.

    Having beaten New Jersey on Wednesday, eighth-place Charlotte has back-to-back victories over teams it is chasing in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

    "We know we're capable of playing with all these teams. But you have to have all your pieces in place," said Mashburn, who missed 42 games with an abdominal strain before returning on Feb. 18. "It's better to be adding players this time of year than subtracting them."

    Paul Pierce scored 20 points, and Antoine Walker had 16 points and nine rebounds for Boston. The Celtics have lost four consecutive games since trading Joe Johnson, Milt Palacio and this year's first-round pick to Phoenix for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers.

    "It's definitely disappointing," said Delk, who had four points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. "To come in to a team that wants you, you've got to find a way to fit in. We've got a tough situation right now."

    After cutting the lead to nine early in the second quarter, Boston never got within single digits again. The Hornets led by as many as 25, 84-59, in the final minute of the third quarter.

    Mashburn had 36 points against New Jersey -- his highest total as a Hornet. He is averaging 21 points and five rebounds in seven games since returning; the Hornets, who are 29-29 overall, are 4-3 with him back in the lineup.

    "Any time you get your leading scorer out for the majority of the year, it's going to be difficult," Davis said. "He means a lot to our team."

    David Wesley had five points and three assists in 20 minutes in his first game back after missing 13 games with a cracked bone in his left foot.

    "It's like making a trade, but with players already there. It gives us a new dose of energy," Mashburn said. "Our biggest thing is getting our guys back healthy. We've had two guys out, myself and David, for the majority of the year, and we're a big part of it."

    Charlotte entered the night tied with Indiana for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, three games behind Boston. The Celtics are tied for fourth in the conference with Orlando, which lost to Detroit 110-102.

    The Celtics beat Charlotte in their previous two meetings this season after being swept by the Hornets last season. Charlotte has won the last four games in Boston, and this season it has the best road record in the conference (17-12).

    Game notes

    Rogers had nine points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. ... Former Celtic Jerome Moiso was placed on the injured list Thursday with left knee tendinitis to make room on the roster for Wesley. ... The Celtics are six games ahead of their pace from last year. ... Davis played in his 222nd consecutive game -- the fifth-longest active streak in the NBA. He has never missed a game in his career. ... Bryce Drew wasn't with the Hornets because of an ear infection. ... Pierce is the first NBA player to score 1,500 points this season. Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal have higher scoring averages, but they've played in fewer games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press