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Celtics run out of steam in loss to Bobcats

An exhausted Celtics [1] team, coming off a triple-overtime triumph over the Nuggets on Sunday night, ran out of steam down the stretch in Charlotte on Monday night, falling 94-91. The loss halted Boston’s season-long winning streak at seven games.

The Celtics entered the fourth-quarter down by three, but managed to surge ahead by four late in the fourth quarter. However, the Bobcats bounced back with a late 7-0 run that included a 20-foot jumper by Ramon Sessions from the top of the key with 25 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats the a 92-91 lead. After a missed 3-point attempt by Kevin Garnett [2], Kemba Walker hit a pair of free throws to put Charlotte up by three. Paul Pierce [3] and Avery Bradley [4] then missed potential game-tying 3-point attempts in the waning seconds of the game to seal the Celtics’ first defeat since losing Rajon Rondo [5].

Byron Mullens led Charlotte with 25 points and 18 rebounds. Jeff Green [6] led the Celtics with 18 points, while Kevin Garnett delivered a double-double, scoring 16 and collecting 13 rebounds. Paul Pierce, meanwhile, scored 13 with eight boards and eight assists.

In the loss, Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa [7] suffered a non-contact injury to his left knee in the third quarter that required him to be carried into the Celtics locker room. He did not return.