CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 43 points, giving him 103 in his last two games, and the Charlotte Hornets battled back to beat the Boston Celtics 117-112 on Monday night.
Walker followed up his NBA season-best, 60-point effort in an overtime loss to the 76ers on Saturday night with another spectacular performance, scoring 21 in the fourth quarter and making 14 of 25 shots, including seven more 3-pointers.
Walker outdueled Boston’s Kyrie Irving, who finished with 27 points and 11 assists.
Jeremy Lamb had 18 points and Willy Hernangomez added 14 as the Hornets beat the Celtics for the first time in eight tries.
The Celtics entered the fourth quarter leading 87-84 and quickly stretched the lead to double digits behind Irving, who scored and was fouled on a drive.
But Walker refused to lose this time.
The two-time All-Star simply took over, scoring on drives, midrange jumpers and from long distance. He scored 11 straight points in one stretch, including a 3-pointer from the right wing. Walker was 7 of 10 from the field in the fourth quarter, including 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Tony Parker also had two key jumpers down the stretch and finished with seven points.
After Jayson Tatum knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead in half, Walker delivered the dagger with another clutch 3 from 27 feet away with 32 seconds left, bringing fans to their feet. Irving missed two open 3s down the stretch and the Hornets escaped with the win to pull even at .500.
Celtics: Aron Baynes got the start over Gordon Hayward at forward. The change didn’t matter all that much as both were 1 of 4 from the field in the first half.
Hornets: Nic Batum continued to struggle with his shot in the early going, missing his first four shots before knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Batum, who failed to score against the 76ers, had nine points. … Malik Monk, who has missed his last 16 3-point attempts, didn’t play in the second half.
Celtics: Host Knicks on Wednesday night.
Hornets: Host Pacers on Wednesday night.
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