89 - 85 Final
  for this game

Celtics pull out win in New Orleans

Mar 20, 2011 - 4:35 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen and Glen Davis both finished with 20 points as the Boston Celtics erased a 15-point third quarter deficit and topped the New Orleans Hornets, 89-85.

Kevin Garnett posted 12 points and nine boards as the Celtics salvaged a win in the second night of a back-to-back. Jeff Green scored 10 points as the Celtics pulled even with the idle Chicago Bulls for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I thought we were all just beat up a little bit," Garnett said. "We were fighting a little bit and we were hurting more than normal. But I thought for the most part, we played solid. All in all, we got out early and I thought the way we got back was ball-coordinated and defense."

David West paced the Hornets with 32 points and eight rebounds. Marco Belinelli tied a career-high with five three-pointers and finished with 23 points while Chris Paul dished out 15 assists and grabbed seven caroms in the loss, New Orleans' second in three games. Paul missed all nine of his shots from the field.

"It's going to be hard for us to win (if I play like that)," Paul said. "I've got to do better. We lose by four points, and I play a game like that (doesn't help the team)."

The Celtics trailed 51-40 at the half, and after a Belinelli three-pointer 73 seconds into the third the New Orleans lead was 56-41. That's where the Boston comeback began.

Two Allen threes -- surrounding a Trevor Ariza tip shot -- cut the Celtics' deficit to 58-47. Davis then added a pair of jumpers to cut it to seven, and after the teams alternated scores, baskets from Davis, Allen and Green trimmed the Hornets margin to 62-61.

West gave New Orleans a one-possession edge on the far end of the court, however, the Celtics ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to lead 67-64 entering the fourth.

Delonte West added a jumper and conversion to open the fourth quarter, giving the Celtics a game-high 70-64 lead. Despite multiple efforts from New Orleans in the concluding minutes, Boston held on.

Ariza tied the game at 74 with a three-pointer, but Boston held its line with consecutive Davis scores. The Hornets got within 82-81 with the second of two Emeka Okafor free throws with just over three minutes remaining but Davis made 1-of-2 from the stripe and Garnett added a jumper just over the final minute.

The Celtics held their margin with timely baskets in the final minute and an Okafor tip in with 3.7 seconds remaining got New Orleans within 87-85. Forced to foul, New Orleans sent Allen to the line, and after he made both, Belinelli missed a three just before the buzzer, with Rajon Rondo grabbing the rebound to end the game.

Belinelli made 4-of-5 from long range and finished with 14 points in the first quarter as the Hornets held a 28-14 lead after one. The Celtics responded by shooting 64 percent from the field in the second but the Hornets still held a 51-40 lead into the break.

Game Notes

The Hornets had won the two previous meetings in this series, including an 83-81 victory on New Year's Eve...New Orleans will now hit the road for a three-game trek featuring visits to Utah, Phoenix and LA Lakers...Rondo and West both finished with nine points and five assists for the victors, while Paul Pierce added nine points with six helpers...Ariza and Okafor both finished with 10 points, while Okafor grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.