New Orleans has won nine of its last 10 games and is in a virtual tie with Boston for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The latest impressive road victory for the Hornets was an 81-71 triumph at Indiana on Tuesday.
Baron Davis returned after missing 20 games due to torn cartilage in his left knee and scored 20 points off the bench to lead New Orleans, which went 13-7 in his absence. Jamal Mashburn overcame 5-of-22 shooting for 16 points.
Jamaal Magloire added 10 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which is 1 1/2 games behind Indiana for third place in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets are 22-17 against Eastern opponents this season.
Boston had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 94-78 loss to San Antonio on Sunday. Antoine Walker scored 18 points and Paul Pierce added 10, but the Celtics’ top two scorers combined to make 13-of-33 shots.
The Celtics have won two of three meetings with the Hornets this season, but New Orleans pulled out a 103-96 victory in the last meeting on February 3. Mashburn poured in 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting and David Wesley added 18 points.
Pierce scored 27 points and Pierce and rookie J.R. Bremer each netted 20. The CDeltics missed 12 straight shots in the second quarter, allowing the Hornets to build their lead.
Pierce has averaged 29 points in the Celtics’ two wins over the Hornets.