Boston at Charlotte

Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena
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In the larger part of two seasons, Avery Bradley's contributions to the Boston Celtics have been minimal.

Now, a pair of injuries may have him playing a key role in them gaining a share of the Atlantic Division lead.

Bradley looks to build on the best performance of his career and help the Celtics capitalize on a meeting with the NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

Bradley, the 19th overall pick in the 2010 draft, is averaging 4.8 points this season after posting 1.7 in 31 games off the bench as a rookie.

While the guard tends to be sparingly involved, Boston (26-22) is in need of some production with guards Ray Allen (sore left ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (head) out.

Bradley delivered in a big way Sunday, scoring a career-high 23 points while hitting 9 of 14 from the field to power an 88-76 win over Washington. His scoring output was one less than his total from the previous six games.

Playing 39:57 surely helped, but Bradley attributed the effort to confidence.

"It's all about confidence," Bradley said. "Sometimes I would go into the game thinking twice about shooting. Now, if I'm open, I'm open and I'll shoot it. I've been making them. I was fortunate enough for my teammates to find me in transition and give me the ball and I made shots."

With Allen and Pietrus likely out again, Bradley will be relied upon to help the Celtics pull even atop the division. They're one-half game behind Philadelphia and visit lowly Charlotte (7-39), which averages a league-worst 87.4 points per game.

Boston has won seven of the last nine meetings with the Bobcats, including a 94-84 home victory on Feb. 7 behind 22 points and seven rebounds from Kevin Garnett.

Garnett, however, wasn't as effective in the last visit to Charlotte, making 4 of 11 from the floor for nine points while grabbing 14 rebounds in a 94-89 loss on Feb. 7, 2011.

The forward-center had a similar effort Sunday, getting 10 points while making 3 of 10 field goals.

Paul Pierce is averaging 22.0 points and 8.7 boards over the last three games. He had that many points while adding six rebounds in the latest road meeting with the Bobcats after totaling 16 in the previous two.

Charlotte, 4-17 at home, is allowing an average of 106.3 points during a losing streak that reached three games with a 102-89 loss at New Jersey on Saturday. Acting coach Stephen Silas felt the Bobcats didn't get their up-tempo offense going until outscoring the Nets 31-21 in the fourth quarter.

"We have to play faster," he said. "We can't be a slow-down team."

Silas could also use some improvement from Kemba Walker, who missed 9 of 13 from the floor and all four from beyond the arc while finishing with 10 points Saturday. The rookie guard has struggled greatly over the last four home games, averaging 7.8 points while shooting 30.6 percent from the field.

Walker had 16 points and seven rebounds against the Celtics last month.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Boston -7 Charlotte 7
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Boston2nd Atlantic 4042.48898-2Won 6
Charlotte4th Southeast 3349.402272-8Lost 6

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Injuries
Boston
PlayerInjury
J CrowderKnee
Charlotte
PlayerInjury
C ZellerShoulder
 
Key Players
Paul<br>Pierce
Paul
Pierce
, SF
34.4 Min. Per Game 27.0 Kemba<br>Walker
Kemba
Walker
, PG
18.6 Pts. Per Game 12.1
4.9 Ast. Per Game 4.1
5.0 Reb. Per Game 3.5
43.2 Field Goal % 37.0
36.7 Three Point % 30.8
84.4 Free Throw % 81.5
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Boston Celtics1479.95
Charlotte Bobcats3057.38
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
 
Other Games
Mia 90 Final
Ind 105
Det 79 Final
Wash 77
Orl 117 Final
Tor 101
Utah 105 Final
NJ 84
Mil 80 Final
NY 89
Den 108 Final
Chi 91
Sac 106 Final
Hou 113
NO 85 Final
LAC 97