The Hornets dropped a rare one (98-93) at home on Saturday to a resilient Boston Celtics franchise that had just played against the small ball masters of Golden State (losing in double overtime). The Hornets have come at teams with the Warriors-like energy and style this season, attacking from the wings and from deep — especially in the absence of center Al Jefferson, out with an injury. They’ve been the surprise of the league, surging to second place in the tight Eastern Conference before dropping back to #4 after the loss. But on Saturday it was the Celtics who brought the energy to a Charlotte team that looked weary, allowing seven Boston three-pointers in the third quarter alone.
A bright spot for the Hornets was that Jeremy Lin played arguably his best offensive game in a Charlotte uniform. With Michael Jordan in the arena, Lin played 32 minutes, shooting 5-10 and 4-4 from the line for 14 points. (Lin has been struggling with his shooting percentage, despite contributing elsewhere.) He had five rebounds and two assists with just one turnover. Emerging star Nicolas Batum had 21 points for the Hornets, despite missing 8-of-10 three-point attempts.