On Wednesday night the Celtics faced the New Orleans Hornets looking to extend their win streak to seven games. This also marked the first match-up between the Rivers father and son. Austin Rivers was drafted fifth this past year to the Hornets yet has struggled to find his game in the NBA. The Hornets came into the night on their second of back to back games coming off a strong win in Philadelphia. The first game against father and son when to the young gun and the Hornets as they came away with a win 90-78.
Coming into the night the Celtics had a strong home stand winning six in a row and were expected to extend it against a young, inexperienced team. Doc came out with his typical starting line-up of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Bass, and Garnett. The team as a whole out shot the Hornets 45.9% to 43.7%. However, they were dominated on the boards allowing 11 offensive rebounds and losing the battle 48 to 33. The Celtics also really struggled from the free throw line shooting just 6-16 on the night, just 37.5%. All of the starters struggled from the field expect KG who had a bounce back game finishing with 15 points on 7-12 shooting. Rajon Rondo started off hot but really struggled down the road totaling just 7 points while adding 11 assists in 33 minutes.
#25 Austin Rivers - Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Hornets young team certainly looked like they wanted this win more from the start. Four of their five starters played extremely well as Vasquez, Lopez, Aminu, and Davis all finished in double figures. Vasquez isn't a well know player in the league but currently stands in third place for assists behind Rondo and Chris Paul. He played very well setting the tempo scoring 15 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. The biggest shock of the night was Robin Lopez who shot 7-11 for 17 points from all over the floor. Lopez isn't typically known for his shooting ability but consistently hit a free throw line jumper. Finally was Doc's son Austin Rivers who scored 8 points in 23 minutes.
The only positive takeaways came from Jason Terry who might have dug out of his recent scoring slump. He shot 5-10 on the night for 12 points and was the high scorer off the bench for the Celtics. Jeff Green had a quiet night scoring only 4 points on 2-4 shooting while grabbing 5 rebounds. Jared Sullinger also had a timid night scoring only 4 points and more surprisingly 2 rebounds.
#34 Paul Pierce drives on #15 Robin Lopez (Courtesy of Celticslife.com)
Overall the Celtics played a sloppy game failing to execute on offense and being held to just 78 points. Their defense didn't play great but still managed to hold the Hornets to 90 points and force 17 turnovers translating into 18 points. Games like these many call "trap games" as a mediocre teams come in during a win streak and seem to be a guaranteed victory. Doc did note that new plays were implemented into the offense and could be a reason why players look lost.
The team will look to bounce back on Friday in their final game of their home stand facing the Bulls. This will kick of the first of a two game weekend as the Celtics hit the road and head to Detroit on Sunday. The team will need to make some adjustments offensively after scoring just 78 points as they face an even tougher defensive team in the Bulls.
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