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Celts top Hornets

The Sports Xchange
December 28. 2017 1:40AM
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) defends against Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) during the second half at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. The Celtics won 102-91. (Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points and handed out eight assists, and the Boston Celtics earned a 102-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.

Al Horford added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost three of their previous four games, including a Christmas Day defeat to the Washington Wizards.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored 18 points, Terry Rozier had 15, and Shane Larkin contributed 11.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points, but he hit just 9 of 22 shots from the floor. Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each scored 13 points, while Dwight Howard amassed 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Boston (28-10) led just 76-75 after three quarters, but a Rozier 3-pointer and a Horford jumper boosted the margin to six points.

Charlotte (12-22) was within five until a Horford layup with 2:45 to go. Tatum sank two foul shots, and then an Irving jump shot pushed the advantage to 99-88 with 1:06 remaining.

The Celtics hit 47.4 percent of their field-goal attempts, including 15 of 34 (44.1 percent) from 3-point range. The Hornets made 36.8 percent from the floor, including 7 of 23 (30.4 percent) from long distance.

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