Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/7

Game 1: Wednesday, December 7th
Game 2: Monday, January 23rd

Hornets 78


Celtics 91

(17-24, 13-8 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, January 23, 2006

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 22 17 16 2378
    BOS 25 17 36 1391

    Top Performers

    NO: D. West 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

    Bos: R. Davis 32 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

    Davis scores 32 points to help Celtics past Hornets

    BOSTON (AP) -- After the Celtics had a sluggish first half, Ricky Davis decided to take over.

    Davis scored 17 of his 32 points in the third quarter to help Boston beat the New Orleans Hornets 91-78 on Monday night.

    "We said at halftime we're going to pick it up in the second half, and that's what we did," Boston forward Paul Pierce said.

    Neither team played well in the opening half, missing easy shots and turning the ball over carelessly.

    But in the third quarter, the Celtics started hitting their shots and took control.

    "I think both teams settled into this-isn't-our-night mode," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "The home team has to win those games, and that's what we did."

    The Hornets shot 36 percent (27-for-76) and lost for just the second time in seven games.

    "I just thought we were terrible," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "Offensively, defensively, effort-wise. I just didn't think we came out with any passion tonight, for whatever reason."

    Raef LaFrentz added 18 points and Pierce had 16 and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who have won six of their past eight home games.

    Behind the outside shooting of LaFrentz, the Celtics used a 17-7 run to take a 63-51 lead midway into the third quarter. LaFrentz hit three 3-pointers in a 2:56 span and closed the spree with another jumper.

    After LaFrentz got the Celtics' offense started, Davis took over, scoring 11 points to spark a 15-2 run that closed the quarter and put the game away. During the spurt, he had a reverse dunk and was fouled, hitting the free throw. Later, he hit two 3-pointers 24 seconds apart as Boston took a 78-55 lead after three quarters.

    "It felt good. The basket was kind of wide," said Davis, who went 7-for-8 from the floor in the third quarter. "You don't ever see who's guarding you. You just get it and put it up."

    In fact, Davis had more baskets than the Hornets as a team in the decisive third quarter.

    "We tried to make rotations and stops on Ricky Davis, but once he got going we couldn't stop him," said David West, who scored 19 of his team-high 21 points in the first half. "We played a decent first half, but just didn't bring it in the second half. In fact, it was just the exact opposite. We didn't play with any effort."

    J.R. Smith added 16 points and was the only other New Orleans player in double figures.

    Davis had Boston's first two baskets of the fourth quarter and left to a big ovation with 7:11 to play.

    The Hornets made a late charge to close the gap with the Celtics reserves on the floor.

    The Celtics led 42-39 at halftime.

    In the first half, West shot 9-for-13; his teammates were a combined 4-for-26.

    Game notes

    As expected, most of the pregame discussion centered on Kobe Bryant's 81 points Sunday night. "Its one of the greatest individual performances I've ever seen," said Pierce, who watched the game on TV. ... Davis was one point shy of his season-high. ... Pierce was one rebound short of his 15th double-double this season. ... Unlike Bryant's showing, the teams combined to miss 18 of the first 19 shots in the second quarter, with Pierce hitting the only shot. ... West had the Hornets' first nine points of the game. ... After the game, Rivers made a push with the media to have Pierce selected to the Olympic team. "I think he's done enough, in my eyes, to be on it."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 91
    FGM-FGA 27-76 (.355) 33-78 (.423)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 6-14 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 22-32 (.688) 19-23 (.826)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 10-44
    Assists 14 17
    Turnovers 18 16
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 5 10
    Fast Break Points 7 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 25

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    David West West
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Ricky Davis Davis
    Points: 32
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0