Walker and Ricky Davis each scored 18 points, and Gary Payton
added 10 in his return to Boston's lineup Friday night, leading the
Celtics to a 104-84 victory over the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.
Marcus Banks scored 13 points, Mark Blount had 11, and Delonte
West added 11 points and eight assists for Boston, 4-0 since Walker
returned to the team last week in a trade with Atlanta.
"This is probably the most talented team I've had play with me
in Boston," said Walker, who also had eight rebounds. "How many
games have you seen in my career where Paul (Pierce) can take only
four shots and we win by 20 points?"
Payton, who re-signed Friday after being waived by Atlanta on
Tuesday, played 21 minutes. He was traded to the Hawks -- along with
Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a future first-round pick -- last
week in the deal that brought Walker back to Boston.
Payton scored six points during a 13-5 run late in the second
quarter that gave Boston a 56-41 lead.
"I like our team. I like who we are," Boston coach Doc Rivers
said. "I like our spirit right now and I'm literally just trying
to stay out of the way of that."
Returning to New England for the second time this season,
Bobcats rookie Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 10 rebounds. The
former University of Connecticut star had six points and 11
rebounds against the Celtics on Nov. 12.
"We couldn't find a flow, couldn't get in a rhythm," he said.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attended the game. ...
Bobcats shooting guard Kareem Rush will miss four to six weeks
after spraining his left knee Wednesday night. Fellow guard Brevin
Knight did not return after sprained his right ankle in the first
quarter. ... Celtics guard Tony Allen missed his third straight
game because of a sprained ankle. ... The Celtics are 18-5 when
they hold opponents under 100 points.