Ray Allen broke out of his shooting slump with 27 points, Kendrick Perkins added 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics cruised past the Charlotte Bobcats 108-90 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Led by Allen, the Celtics had little trouble slowing the Bobcats, who had won four straight. Entering shooting 30 percent from 3-point range, Allen took only nine shots, but hit 5 of 6 3-pointers, including one from behind the plane of the backboard with 1 second left to give the Celtics a 62-39 halftime lead.
Charlotte never recovered as Gerald Wallace scored just five points after getting into early foul trouble. Nazr Mohammed had 16 points for the Bobcats, who entered giving up a league-low 87.9 points a game.
But the Celtics, on the second game of a four-game trip that next takes them to San Antonio, scored at will inside and out and quickly ended any hopes Charlotte had of erasing memories of their embarrassing 59-point performance in Boston on opening night.
That came before the Bobcats acquired versatile scorer Stephen Jackson, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked before the game that they were going to "do some tic-tac-toe" to figure out if the 6-foot-5 Allen guarded the 6-8 Jackson or 6-7 Wallace.
Allen started on Jackson, who immediately posted him and scored in the lane on the first possession. But Wallace picked up two fouls in 5 minutes and sat out the rest of the half, giving the Celtics matchup advantages.
Stephen Graham failed miserably trying to defend Kevin Garnett, who had 16 points and seven rebounds. Nobody could keep a body on Perkins, who hit 9 of 10 shots and was only five points shy of matching a career high. And the blowout took shape in the first half as Brown stubbornly kept Wallace on the bench.
Wallace entered as the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, after twice topping 30 points in victories last week. The Bobcats shot 31 percent in the first half without him, and trailed by as many as 26 points before he got his first points with 8:15 left in the third quarter.
But it may not have mattered with the Bobcats shooting 55 percent and Allen finding his touch.
A career 40-percent shooter from behind the arc, Allen had gone 6 for 23 in the past four games. Rivers said at shootaround that he had said nothing to him.
"I don't say a word _ if he's a shooter," he said. "If he's a non-shooter, I tell him to stop shooting. ... He hasn't forgot how."
With Perkins and Garnett drawing attention inside, Allen was hitting from the outside and the foul line, where he made all 10 attempts. The Celtics didn't even need Paul Pierce (eight points) to move into a tie for the Eastern Conference lead with Orlando.
It was a setback for the Bobcats, whose winning streak came at the heels of a seven-game skid and included an impressive home win over Cleveland Friday. They shot just 41 percent and trailed by as many as 28 points.
NOTES: Celtics F Rasheed Wallace made it an NBA-high eight technical fouls after shouting at referee Derek Richardson in the second quarter. Rivers before the game was more concerned that Perkins was tied for second in the league with five technicals. "He's still young and he's gaining a reputation," Rivers said. ... Mohammed received a technical for getting in Garnett's face after Garnett was called for an offensive foul for hitting him in the face. ... The Celtics held only their second morning shootaround of the season, but it was because Rivers canceled practice Monday.