Game: Charlotte Hornets @ Boston Celtics
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Hornets +11, Celtics -11
When the Boston Celtics play the Charlotte Hornets tonight, the NBA’s top-ranked team will be without All-Star Jaylen Brown. In the second quarter of Wednesday’s 106-99 win against Philadelphia, Brown and teammate Jayson Tatum collided while vying for a rebound. Tatum hit Brown in the face with an elbow and Brown had to leave the game. He did not return.
Brown, who averages 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, is out tonight. According to numerous sources, Brown might not return until after the All-Star break. The Celtics have four games remaining before the Feb. 17–19 break. Brown is listed as a reserve for the Eastern Conference for the All-Star Game.
Tatum is also on the injury report listed as questionable with a non-COVID illness. Marcus Smart (ankle) will miss his eighth straight game tonight. The good news for the Celtics is that Al Horford (knee) and Robert Williams III (ankle), who missed Wednesday’s victory, have both been upgraded to probable for tonight.
The victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday showcased Boston’s depth. The Celtics got 41 points from their bench players, and six players scored in double figures, despite the absence of Smart, Horford, and Williams. Blake Griffin hit six three-pointers and Boston, which has won four straight, made 19-of-35 from behind the arc.
Charlotte is coming into this game on a five-game losing streak. The Hornets have dropped their previous six games on the road. The Hornets and Celtics will meet for the fourth and final time this year. Tatum scored 51 points in the most recent match, which Boston won 130-118 on January 16. In the loss, Jalen McDaniels led Charlotte with 26 points. McDaniels is now in Philadelphia after being traded on Thursday.
The Celtics defeated the Hornets 122-106 on the road on January 14 and 140-105 at Boston on November 28. Boston has won eight of the last ten against Charlotte. The Hornets are coming off a 118-104 loss at Washington on Wednesday. Charlotte is competing with Detroit to avoid finishing last in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hornets allowed Washington’s Kristaps Porzingis to score 36 points.
In addition to losing five straight games, the Hornets are 1-4 ATS in those five games. Part of the problem is that Charlotte just doesn’t shoot very well. In those last five games, only once did the Hornets shoot over 44 percent. The Hornets rank 29th in field goal percentage (45.2%) and dead last in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (32.1%).
Boston has won four of its last five games. Over its last ten games, Boston is 3-7 ATS. The Celtics do well at home where they are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games. They have also beaten the Hornets 11 of the last 12 times the two teams have played in Boston.
The Under is 5-0 in the Hornets’ last five games. Four of the last six games in this series have gone Under the total.
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