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National Basketball Association
Preview
Charlotte at Boston
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Two teams in contention for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference square off Friday when the Boston Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets snapped a five-game skid with a 98-86 win at Chicago on Wednesday to pull into an eighth-place tie with Brooklyn, but they have plenty of close pursuers. The Celtics are one of three teams who are a game out of eighth.

Charlotte's playoff hopes seemed unlikely when star guard Kemba Walker went out with a knee injury, but newly acquired point guard Mo Williams has averaged 21 points in his first three games with the Hornets. "I enjoy playing with these guys, and they enjoy playing with me," Williams told reporters. "I can tell winning is a priority, and that makes things more significant and fun." Charlotte has won the first two meetings this season, each by nine points.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Charlotte), CSN New England (Boston)

ABOUT THE HORNETS (23-32): The addition of Williams has made Charlotte a more versatile team again, adding a perimeter scoring threat to the solid frontcourt duo of Al Jefferson (17.2 points, 8.7 rebounds) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (10.8 points, 7.2 rebounds). The Hornets also have gotten back to playing solid defense the past two games after a rare stretch of three straight games allowing 100 or more points. Charlotte commits the fewest turnovers in the league (11.8 per game) and gives up the fewest offensive rebounds (8.6 per game).

ABOUT THE CELTICS (22-33): Boston has turned over a big chunk of its roster through trades, and three newcomers led the way in Wednesday's 115-94 win against New York. Jonas Jerebko (20 points) and Isaiah Thomas (19 points) both had big games in their home debuts for the Celtics, and Jae Crowder added 18 points as he continues to take on a bigger role since being acquired from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo deal in December. Evan Turner (8.8 points, five rebounds, 4.9 assists) has become more of a catalyst at the offensive end since the Rondo trade and recorded his first career triple-double against the Knicks.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Hornets are 3-24 when they are outrebounded but 19-7 when they win the battle on the boards.

2. Boston C Kelly Olynyk (sprained right ankle) has missed 15 straight games but is expected to return within a week.

3. Charlotte C Bismack Biyombo (bruised right knee) is expected to miss his 11th consecutive game but could return Sunday at Orlando.

PREDICTION: Celtics 101, Hornets 97

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Charlotte 23-32 W1 13-16 10-16 2-1 21-31 6-4 17-15
Boston 22-33 W2 13-15 9-18 2-6 20-27 7-4 13-19
Last Meeting
Charlotte Boston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/5/15 CHAR 104 BOS 95 104 48 48.7 95 33 39.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte K. Walker 33 46.2 7
Boston J. Sullinger 22 50.0 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte B. Biyombo 10 3 7
Boston J. Sullinger 8 4 4
Assists Player  
Charlotte G. Henderson 8
Boston B. Bass 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte A. Jefferson 888 47.0 95
Boston J. Sullinger 854 45.6 99
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte A. Jefferson 454 86 368
Boston J. Sullinger 502 154 348
Assists Player  
Charlotte K. Walker 253
Boston E. Turner 303
Quickchart Matchup
Charlotte Off vs  Boston Defense
94.3 Points For
102.7 Points Against
42.2 FG%
45.1 FG%
43.9 Reb
44.4 Reb
Boston Off vs  Charlotte Defense
101.5 Points For
96.8 Points Against
44.5 FG%
44.0 FG%
44.4 Reb
43.7 Reb