This time Kemba Walker couldn’t get the Charlotte Hornets to the finish line.
Point guard Walker made a 2-point pull-up to cut the Boston Celtics’ lead to one, but then fouled Jae Crowder, who hit two free throws with 6.6 seconds left.
Nic Batum missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, giving the Celtics the ball with 3.6 seconds remaining. Celtics forward Evan Turner hit a reverse layup, giving the Celtics the 98-93 victory.
Walker was coming off a 33-point performance in Friday’s blowout road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Celtics were coming off a double-overtime home loss to the Golden State Warriors.
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The loss broke a four-game winning streak for the Hornets, who are 14-9. The Celtics improved to 14-10.
Three who mattered
Nic Batum: After assembling a triple-double earlier in the week, he registered two good shooting games.
Isaiah Thomas: So much energy for Boston’s point guard the night after a double-overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors
Avery Bradley: The Celtics guard hit big shot after big shot.
▪ Friday’s victory in Memphis was the sixth time this season the Hornets won a game after trailing by 10 or more points. That ties Cleveland for the most such comebacks this season.
▪ Nine different Hornets made at least one 3-pointer in the Memphis game. That is a franchise record.
▪ It’s clear Celtics coach Brad Stevens is impressed with the Hornets’ off-season roster makeover. He said he considers Nic Batum and Kemba Walker worthy All-Star candidates.
▪ Hornets coach Steve Clifford said pre-game that rookie Frank Kaminsky’s progress as a defender far exceeds what they anticipated two months into his first NBA season.
▪ Clifford said the position Kaminsky now plays – power forward – is the toughest defensively because you are asked to guard a wide spectrum of skill sets all around the court.
▪ The Hornets’ schedule lightens up after Saturday with two games in six days.
▪ The Washington Wizards announced guard Bradley Beal will miss at least two weeks with a stress reaction in his right leg. That means he’ll miss Saturday’s game against the Hornets.
▪ It took the Hornets about 4 1/2 minutes to score Saturday.
Hornets’ report card
C OFFENSE: They seemed to miss a lot of open shots, which could have been a product of fatigue after the Friday win in Memphis.
B DEFENSE: They controlled the rebounding, which has not been a given this season.
B COACHING: One of toughest things in the NBA is to fly east to play second-game of a back-to-back after an exhausting game.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell