Paul Pierce scored 18 points, but the Boston Celtics fell victim to sloppy play in the fourth quarter and squandered away a 13-point lead, ultimately losing to the Charlotte Bobcats, 83-81, at TD Garden on Friday night.
Boston (50-21) grabbed a 25-19 lead after the first quarter but was outscored by Charlotte, 18-17, in the second quarter. The Celtics regained their footing in the third quarter, scoring 24 points while holding the Bobcats to 16 points.
Yet once again, a poor fourth quarter did the Celtics in, as the Bobcats outscored the green 30-15 to secure the victory and hand Boston its second consecutive loss.
D.J. White scored 17 points and had six rebounds off the bench for the Bobcats (29-42), who shot 43.5 percent from the field. Gerald Henderson scored 15 points, D.J. Augustin had 14 points and Kwame Brown added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Ray Allen finished with 15 points on 2-of-7 shooting for the Celtics, who were held to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor. Kevin Garnett totaled 12 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 10 points, five assists and five turnovers for Boston.