Crawford, Wallace lift Celtics over Bobcats 96-86



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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jordan Crawford had 21 points, reserve Gerald Wallace added a season-high 17 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-86 Monday night for their second straight victory.

Crawford was 5 of 11 from the field and had five assists as the Celtics avenged an 89-83 loss to the Bobcats on Nov. 13. The 31-year-old Wallace, who played for the Bobcats from 2004-11, was 6 of 10 from the field.

Brandon Bass scored 16 points and Phil Pressley had a career-high eight assists for Boston (6-10).

The Celtics led by two entering the fourth quarter but scored the first 10 points to take control and were never challenged down the stretch.

Kemba Walker had 28 points to lead the Bobcats (7-8), who failed to get above the .500 mark after 15 games for the first time in franchise history. Gerald Henderson added 20 points.

Boston's bench outscored Charlotte's 39-15.

Charlotte cut Boston's lead to 68-66 entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics got a 3-pointer from Courtney Lee and a layup by Kris Humphries off a pick and roll to regain control.

The Bobcats would trim the lead to six with 1:25 remaining in the game before the Celtics got an offensive rebound off a missed shot and Crawford hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-possession game with 34 seconds remaining.

The Celtics came in looking to avenge a loss two weeks ago to the Bobcats that started their six-game losing streak.

Boston started slow, falling behind 20-10 but took a 47-38 lead into halftime after outscoring the Bobcats 33-17 in the second quarter. The Celtics came alive behind the outside shooting of Crawford, who knocked down three 3-pointers and led all scorers at the break with 12 points.

The Celtics held the Bobcats to just 31 percent shooting from the floor in the second quarter and held a 21-7 edge in points off the bench.

Charlotte entered the game with the NBA's third best defense, allowing just 83.6 points on 38.4 percent shooting. Strangely enough, the Bobcats have struggled more at home, surrendering 98 points per game on 47.6 percent while losing five of six at home.

The Celtics had lost six straight games before winning Saturday night at Atlanta.

NOTES: Henderson has scored in double digits 13 times this season, including the last six games. ... Green has scored in double digits 13 times for the Celtics. ... The Celtics are 2-3 against the Bobcats in their last five games.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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STEVE REED

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