Beaten by their surprising nemesis for the second time in two seasons, the defending champions came undone in OT, and they’ve quickly gone from unbeatable to vulnerable.
After a team-record, 19-game winning streak and an NBA-record 27-2 start, the Celtics lost for the fifth time in seven games, leaving battered, bruised and angry by Larry Brown’s upstart Bobcats.
Paul Pierce scored 28 points, but had a key turnover in overtime. Ray Allen scored 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting for the Celtics.
Playing despite a sore calf, Boston’s Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but shot only 7-of-18 and was called for traveling in OT.