Kemba Walker scored 43 points, and the Charlotte Hornets rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 117-112 victory over the Boston Celtics Monday night.
Walker scored 21 of his points in the fourth quarter, single-handedly leading the comeback until Tony Parker hit two clutch baskets in the final two minutes. Walker’s 3-pointer with 32.3 seconds left gave the Hornets a six-point lead and all but settled the outcome.
In the process, Walker reclaimed his spot as the league’s leading scorer. He came into the night averaging 28.7 points per game, behind LeBron James’ 28.8, but now holds a slight edge over James. Walker was coming off a 60-point performance in an overtime loss to Philadelphia on Saturday night.
The victory allowed the Hornets (8-8) to snap a two-game losing streak. Boston (9-8) lost its second straight.
The Hornets also got 18 points from Jeremy Lamb and 14 off the bench from Willy Hernangomez.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 27 points and 11 assists. The Celtics also got 18 points from Jayson Tatum, 14 from Marcus Smart, and 10 each from Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Daniel Theis.
The Hornets were without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle) for the third straight game.
Charlotte led 29-24 after one quarter and pushed the lead to 13 points early in the second. But the Celtics responded with a 14-0 run to take the lead, and they eventually led 56-54 at halftime. The Celtics then pushed the lead to seven in the third and led 87-84 going into the fourth quarter.
Boston’s biggest lead came at 98-88, which is precisely when the Hornets stormed back with an 11-0 run to retake the lead.
The Hornets were playing the second game of a three-game home stand. They will close it out with a game against Indiana on Wednesday.
The Celtics will return to Boston to face New York on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media