Graham scores 24 as Hornets rout Celtics 125-104

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier drives to the basket over Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier drives to the basket past Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Martin (11) drives to the basket past between Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) and forward Jayson Tatum during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum shoots over Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham fouls Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham shoots over Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Brad Wanamaker (9) drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jabari Parker during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

  • Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier reacts after getting a foul call against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson

Associated Press
Published: 4/25/2021 4:10:38 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Devonte Graham had 24 points and nine assists, P.J. Washington chipped in with 22 points and 12 rebounds and the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Boston Celtics 125-104 on Sunday.

Terry Rozier had 21 points and 11 assists and Miles Bridges stayed hot with 20 points as the Hornets avenged a 30-point loss to the Celtics earlier this season and pulled within 1½ games of Boston for the sixth spot in the East.

Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown each had 20 points and Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which has dropped two straight games after winning seven of its previous eight.

Walker and Brown both returned to the lineup after sitting out the Celtics’ 109-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

The Hornets came out firing, hitting 10 of 12 shots to start the game, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range to build a 26-12 lead.

They never let up.

Charlotte moved the ball well and finished with a season-high 39 assists while playing aggressive defense.

Bridges beat the buzzer with a 40-foot pull-up jumper at the end of the third quarter.

Graham connected on a behind-the-back pass to Washington for a dunk and Bridges came up with a ferocious block that led to Rozier’s 3 at the other end helping extend Charlotte’s lead to 17.

After Graham knocked down an open 3 off a 4-on-1 Hornets fastbreak to push the lead to 20, Celtics coach Brad Stevens had seen enough and emptied his bench with 3:30 remaining.

The Celtics got a scare when Walker ran to the locker room midway though the second quarter after appearing to injure his left hip as he came to a jump stop while closing out on a corner 3 by Rozier.

Walker ran straight to the locker room, but returned later in the quarter.

Tip-ins

Celtics: Were outscored 46-36 in the paint.

Hornets: Starters were a combined 12 of 18 from 3-point range in the first half. ... Hornets had 22 assists on 24 baskets in the first half. ... Shot 48.8% from 3-point range (21 of 43). ... Cody Martin had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Up next

Celtics: Host Thunder on Tuesday night.

Hornets: Host Bucks on Tuesday night.


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