CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Adam Morrison broke out of his shooting slump Wednesday night to score 26 points, and the Charlotte Bobcats held on to beat the Boston Celtics 92-83.

Morrison’s jumper with 2:11 left put Charlotte up 85-77. He then fed Emeka Okafor for a layup with 38 seconds left and hit one free throw in the final minute to ice it, finishing one shy of his career high set last week against San Antonio.

Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the draft, had shot only 8-of-29 in the previous two games.

The Bobcats blew a 12-point first-quarter lead and a 10-point edge in the second quarter. After Charlotte went up 80-68 with 5:28 left, the Celtics scored nine straight points. But Matt Carroll and Morrison hit back-to-back jumpers to help the Bobcats snap a two-game losing streak.

Paul Pierce had 28 points and 12 rebounds but got little help for the Celtics, who shot 40 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

Wally Szczerbiak was held to seven points on 3-of-13 shooting and Sebastian Telfair shot 3-for-10.

Felton, who became the first Bobcats player in their three-year history to play an entire game, hit a jumper that capped a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter that gave Charlotte a 75-64 lead.

The Bobcats played without guard Brevin Knight, who strained his left calf in Monday’s loss to Dallas, leaving Felton as the team’s only true point guard. He shot only 6-of-20, but had nine assists and six rebounds.

The Celtics went more than 6 1/2 minutes without a field goal to start the fourth quarter, missing six straight shots.

Al Jefferson returned after missing two weeks following an emergency appendectomy and had six points for the Celtics.

The Celtics were without Delonte West (sprained left big toe), who hit the winning shot at the overtime buzzer in the first meeting between the teams in Boston on Nov. 8.

Morrison took advantage of his matchup with Szczerbiak to shoot 5-of-6 in the first quarter as the Bobcats built a 29-17 lead.

The quick start was a rarity for Morrison in Charlotte. He had been shooting 27 percent and averaging nine points in five home games, compared to 18.2 points and 44 percent shooting on the road.

The Celtics rallied to tie it midway through the second quarter, then took the lead in the third when Morrison was held scoreless.

The Bobcats responded with a 9-0 run, helped by three consecutive Boston turnovers. It was 69-64 Charlotte heading to the fourth.

Notes: Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t share West’s confidence that he would be ready to return Friday against New York. “I’m going to count on more like next week,” Rivers said. … Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said the Bobcats may bring in another point guard with Knight day-to-day with a strained left calf. … The Bobcats sent rookie C Ryan Hollins, who had not appeared in a game this season, to Fort Worth of the NBDL. “He needs to play,” Bickerstaff said. … Former Celtic Robert Parish, who lives in Charlotte, attended the game.

AP-ES-11-22-06 2146EST

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