BOSTON (AP)—The New Orleans Hornets used defense and rebounding to offset a rare bad shooting night and extend their longest winning streak of the season.
“That’s what you call winning ugly,” Davis said. “Tonight we made them shoot jump shots and it forced them out of their game.”
Walter McCarty’s layup drew the Celtics to 74-71 with 1:14 remaining, but George Lynch sealed the game with a three-point play when David Wesley passed through three defenders and hit a cutting Lynch under the basket.
“We have great rhythm, and New Jersey and Boston don’t have that rhythm,” Wesley said. “We are short-handed, but the one constant on this team is defense.”
Jamaal Magloire had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who outrebounded the Celtics 50-31, including 24-8 on the offensive end.
“Clearly the glass is a major league problem for us,” Celtics coach Jim O’Brien said. “We worked on blocking out in practice yesterday, but it didn’t work.”
Paul Pierce had 23 points for the Celtics. Boston was held to a season-low 73 points and has dropped six of nine.
The Hornets won despite shooting 37 percent from the field, 16-of-28 from the foul line and committing 22 turnovers.
“It was like taking an enema, just brutal,” Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. “We couldn’t find a way to score and were too anxious to get the shot off.”
Eric Williams’ basket with 1 second remaining in the third quarter cut the Hornets’ lead to 57-52 and snapped a drought of more than six minutes without a basket for Boston. Pierce scored 12 in the quarter while Wesley had 10.
Both teams struggled in the first half, with no player scoring in double figures. New Orleans shot 32 percent, including 3-of-12 from Davis and one point from Wesley.
Boston turned the ball over 14 times, and Pierce was held to three points.
“You have big, physical guys on their side,” Pierce said. “But bigger and stronger guys don’t always win, and the winning has to come with mental toughness.”
Davis shot 6-of-22 from the field and showed signs of fatigue after fallingone rebound short of a triple-double against New Jersey on Tuesday night.
New Orleans is one of two teams with a winning record (31-28) against the Celtics. Milwaukee is the other. … While with the Celtics, Wesley scored a career-high 37 points against the Hornets in 1995. … Through the first 11 games, Boston has not been involved in a game when one team scored 100 points—the longest such streak for the Celtics since the start of the 1953-54 season.