Charlotte and Boston meet for conference battle
Boston Celtics (43-29, fifth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Charlotte Hornets (32-39, 10th in the Eastern Conference)
Charlotte; Saturday, 6 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Eastern Conference foes Charlotte and Boston meet at the Spectrum Center.
The Hornets have gone 24-22 against Eastern Conference opponents. Charlotte is 4-10 in games decided by less than 4 points.
The Celtics are 29-14 in conference games. Boston ranks second in the Eastern Conference shooting 36.4 percent from downtown. Kyrie Irving leads the Celtics shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range.
TOP PERFORMERS: Kemba Walker is scoring 25 points per game and averaging 4.3 rebounds for the Hornets. Jeremy Lamb has averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 43.4 percent over the last 10 games for Charlotte.
Irving has shot 49.2 percent and is averaging 23.9 points for the Celtics. Al Horford is shooting 60.9 percent and has averaged 14.6 points over the last 10 games for Boston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Celtics: 6-4, averaging 116 points, 42.4 rebounds, 27.9 assists, 8.9 steals and 3.5 blocks per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 113.4 points on 46.8 percent shooting.
Hornets: 4-6, averaging 106.5 points, 43.2 rebounds, 21.4 assists, six steals and 4.7 blocks per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 110.8 points on 45.8 percent shooting.
Hornets Injuries: Cody Zeller: out (left knee soreness), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: out (concussion).
Celtics Injuries: Al Horford: out (left knee soreness), Aron Baynes: out (left ankle sprain), Gordon Hayward: out (concussion).