Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Al Jefferson had 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Boston Celtics 96-87 on Wednesday night.
Kemba Walker posted 18 points, seven assists and three steals, while Lance Stephenson added 13 points for Charlotte, which has won consecutive games on the heels of a 10-game losing streak.
"That was a good win for us," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "Al came up big in the fourth."
The Bobcats got starting forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back after he missed the last 12 games with a foot injury. He had nine points and six boards in just over 19 minutes of action.
Rajon Rondo recorded his third triple-double of the season with 12 points, 10 boards and 10 helpers for the Celtics, who have dropped two in a row after a three-game winning streak.
Marcus Thornton netted 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter in the loss. Jeff Green also netted 16 points and Tyler Zeller provided 13 and eight rebounds for Boston.
"I felt like no matter what we were just holding the ball too long," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Thornton scored the final four points of a 6-0 spurt that pulled the Celtics within 87-85 with 4:32 remaining, but Charlotte ripped off the next nine points to put the game away.
Walker drove the baseline for a reverse layup and 3-point play prior to consecutive Jefferson buckets. A Walker jumper with 21.6 ticks on the clock capped the surge and made it 96-85.
Earlier, Charlotte raced out to a 20-12 advantage and led 22-16 following a quarter of play.
Boston tied it at 32-32 midway through the second before Charlotte went on a 9-2 swing to go up 41-34 late in the opening half. The Hornets took a 45-40 margin into the locker room and a 73-66 spread into the fourth.
Kidd-Gilchrist came in averaging 9.8 points in six games ... Nobody else in the NBA has more than one triple-double this season ... Charlotte turned the ball over just 11 times ... The Hornets held a 46-38 advantage in the point and a 13-6 margin in second-chance points.