The Celtics  started off hot, but the Hornets got hotter making eight of their first 10 shots in a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with New Orleans holding a 29-27 lead. Playing without Ray Allen , who was sent back to the team hotel with bask spasms, the Celtics turned the ball over nine times.
Paul Pierce  did play, however, and he led the Celtics with nine points. Rookie Darren Collison and big man David West each scored eight points for the Hornets. New Orleans coach Jeff Bower picked up a technical foul in the opening minutes.