Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/31

Game 1: Friday, December 31st
Hornets83Final
Celtics81
Game 2: Saturday, March 19th
Celtics89Final
Hornets85

Hornets 83

(19-14, 6-10 away)

Celtics 81

(24-7, 13-2 home)

    Coverage: CSNN

    3:00 PM ET, December 31, 2010

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 23 14 29 1783
    BOS 19 20 18 2481

    Top Performers

    New Orleans: C. Paul 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 6 Stl

    Boston: R. Allen 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast

    Chris Paul, Hornets hand Celtics third loss in four games 

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- The way things have been going on the road lately for the New Orleans Hornets, it only figured they'd have to watch one of the NBA's most prolific 3-point shooters rim out a 3 attempt before escaping with a win.

    Trevor Ariza made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:34 to play and David West scored four of his 19 points in the final minute, helping the New Orleans Hornets pull out an 83-81 win over the injury-riddled Boston Celtics on Friday when Ray Allen's 3-point bid missed in the closing seconds.

    "I just think we did a great job of getting stops when we needed to," Paul said. "Trevor hit a timely 3 right there at the end when we didn't have anything going for us. It said a lot about us to get a stop there at the end when we were up two."

    Chris Paul had 20 points and 11 assists for New Orleans, which won for just the third time in seven games. Emeka Okafor scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

    New Orleans had lost seven straight and 9 of 10 on the road.

    Ray Allen led Boston with 18 points, Paul Pierce had 12 points and seven boards and Nate Robinson scored 11 and had six rebounds.

    "I told the guys after the game that I'm not happy, we should have won the game," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

    Boston has lost three of four since winning 14 straight.

    Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who leads the league with 13.8 assists per game, missed his seventh straight with a sprained left ankle. Forward Kevin Garnett was out with a strained right calf, an injury sustained Wednesday against Detroit. Center Kendrick Perkins has not played yet this season due to offseason knee surgery from an injury in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and backup point guard Delonte West missed his 16th straight game with a broken right wrist.

    "Obviously they're a different team without those guys, but it's a good win for us," Paul said.

    After Boston moved ahead 73-66 on Allen's 3-pointer with just under 6 1/2 minutes to play, New Orleans scored 11 of the next 13 points, taking the lead on Marco Belinelli's jumper from the top of the key with 3:07 left.

    "We've just got to build on this one," West said. "This is a good win for us. We haven't won on the road in a while. It just feels good to get one."

    Robinson tied it with a driving basket with 1:59 to go. He was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw before Ariza's 3 moved the Hornets ahead 25 seconds later. West then nailed a jumper from the left wing with 54 seconds left.

    Pierce had a basket and Allen two free throws, closing it to 82-81 with 21 seconds to play.

    Boston had to foul, putting West on the line with 19.6 seconds left. He missed the first, but made the second.

    After Pierce fumbled a pass near the sideline, he passed it to Allen, who was forced to take his long 3. Paul grabbed the rebound and Boston was unable to foul before time expired.

    "Regardless of the injuries, we've still got to show up and play," Pierce said. "There's no moral victories. It was a game of ups and downs. We just didn't play consistent basketball."

    New Orleans opened a 66-57 lead on Okafor's dunk in the closing minute of the third quarter before Boston scored 16 straight points over a 5:37 stretch.

    Allen started the run with a jumper with four seconds left in the third and hit three straight baskets in the fourth -- the final two were 3-pointers 1:15 apart. The second gave Boston a 73-66 lead with 6:27 to play.

    The Hornets missed their first nine shots to open the fourth quarter before Belinelli hit a jumper from the top, halting a scoreless stretch of 5 minutes, 45 seconds. Boston opened the quarter by nailing seven of its initial 10 shots.

    "When you play this team here, you not only need big play, but you have to be poised," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "I thought when they made that run in the fourth quarter I thought our guys were poised."

    New Orleans led 66-57 after three.

    Neither team shot over 42 percent in the opening half, with Boston holding a 39-37 edge at the break.

    Game notes


    Boston's makeshift lineup due to the injuries had Pierce looking a bit frustrated at one point in the opening half. He clamped his hands twice calling for the ball from Von Wafer before shrugging his shoulders. During a timeout, Pierce was talking to Wafer for a while. ... "I heard guys saying somebody needs to step up. Nobody needs to step up," Rivers said of the list of key injured players. "The guys just need to do what they can do." ... The Hornets had consecutive double-digit losses to the Lakers and Minnesota in their previous games. ... West played despite being listed as questionable with a sprained left ankle. ... Glen Davis was whistled for a technical in the third quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NO
    BOS
    Points 83 81
    FGM-FGA 33-76 (.434) 34-76 (.447)
    3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 3-16 (.188)
    FTM-FTA 12-21 (.571) 10-15 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-35 10-40
    Assists 21 16
    Turnovers 12 19
    Steals 10 6
    Blocks 7 8
    Fast Break Points 12 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 17 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 11 7

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Boston
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 6
    Blk: 0
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 18
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0

    Research Notes

    The Celtics have outscored opponents by 14.4 points per 48 minutes with Kevin Garnett in the game this season. Meanwhile, they've been outscored by 3.6 points per 48 minutes when Garnett is not in the game this season.
      [+]

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