Shaquille O'Neal is a long way removed from his MVP days, but that doesn't mean that he can't still play.
O'Neal scored a game-high 23 points and had five rebounds and five blocks to lead the Boston Celtics past the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-94, at TD Garden on Friday night.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen each scored 19 points for Boston (30-9). Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 13 assists and Glen Davis totaled 11 points and five rebounds in place of injured starter Kevin Garnett, who missed his ninth straight game.
Gerald Wallace paced Charlotte (15-22), finishing with 20 points and six rebounds. D.J. Augustin had 19 points and six assists, Stephen Jackson scored 13 points and Boris Diaw added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams were tied at 42 entering halftime, and Boston outscored Charlotte 27-24 in the third quarter. The Celtics also held the scoring edge, 30-28, in the fourth quarter.
Boston made 36-of-69 field goals (52.2%) and 8-of-19 three pointers (42.1%) while Charlotte connected on 32-of-76 shots (42.1%) and 3-of-9 shots from beyond the arc (33.3%).
The Celtics amassed 29 rebounds, 22 assists, eight blocks and had 11 turnovers. The Bobcats had 42 rebounds, 15 assists, five steals and nine turnovers.
Orlando will be Boston's next opponent, as the Celtics will host the Magic at 8 p.m. EST on Monday (TV/Radio: TNT, WEEI) in a rematch of Orlando's 86-78 victory over Boston on Christmas Day.