BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 34 points in the first three quarters, and then sat out the fourth with the rest of Boston’s starters as the Celtics routed the Charlotte Hornets 134-106 on Wednesday night.
Aron Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 15, including nine in the third quarter as the Celtics shot 60 percent and turned the game into a blowout. Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe scored 14 points apiece for the Celtics, who won their fourth straight and ended Charlotte’s five-game winning streak.
Kemba Walker made his first eight shots and led Charlotte with 23 points. Dwight Howard had 21 points for the Hornets, who were coming off a victory over Chicago on Tuesday night and couldn’t keep up with the Celtics after halftime.
Boston led 67-59 at halftime and opened the third quarter on a 12-3 run, followed by an 8-0 spurt a few minutes later as the Hornets continued to wilt. Charlotte didn’t have much luck, either, in the period. Irving barely beat the shot-clock buzzer with a turnaround jumper that put Boston up 86-67 with 6:29 left in the third, and bounces continued to fall for the Celtics.
Brown missed an opportunity for a three-point play with 4:45 left in the third, but got a second chance at the free throw when Charlotte was called for a lane violation. Brown hit the second attempt and Boston’s lead was 94-67.
Marcus Morris scored 15 and Marcus Smart had 10 points as seven Boston players scored in double figures.
Frank Kaminsky scored 16 points, Michael Carter-Williams scored 14 and Jeremy Lamb added 10 points for the Hornets, who also rested their starters in the fourth quarter as they began a three-game trip.
Hornets: Entered the game on their longest winning streak since winning seven straight in March of 2016. … Charlotte’s last four wins have all been by 15 points or more, including Tuesday night’s 118-103 home victory over Chicago. … Walker scored 11 of Charlotte’s first 13 points.
Celtics: Improved to 32-8 when scoring 100 points or more this season. … Boston led 37-31 after the first quarter and out-rebounded the Hornets 14-7 in the opening period. … Irving scored 16 in the first quarter. … F Daniel Theis was out with a sore right hamstring.
Hornets: At Philadelphia on Friday.
Celtics: At Houston on Saturday night.
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