Kemba Walker has claimed his will to win is the reason for his streak of tallying up crucial points in fourth quarters this season.

Walker came back on from the bench to score a sublime three-pointer as the Boston Celtics made it 10 successive wins in NBA with a 105-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The three-time All Star netted 20 points in total on Friday, with five rebounds and five assists, while he has a 49.1 per cent shot accuracy in fourth quarters and 53.6 per cent of his three-pointers have come in the final stage of games.

"I just want to win so bad, I just will those shots in a lot of the time," Walker told reporters when asked about his fourth-quarter form.

"I just want to win and when it's winning time, my competitive nature just increases in those kinds of situations.

"I make 500 [three-pointers] the night before the game. I trust in my work. That's it. And the reason I do that is because if I am having an off night, I know it's an off night, I know it's not because I'm not working.

"My first halves haven't really been too great. I just try my best to just stay positive, and just continue to shoot.

"Fourth quarter, it's just winning time."

The Celtics lead the way in the Eastern Conference with a 10-1 record this season.

Kemba Walker says the Boston Celtics need other players to "step up" after Gordon Hayward suffered a broken hand on Saturday.

The in-form Hayward was hurt in a collision with LaMarcus Aldridge late in the first half of the Celtics' 135-115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

After the game, Boston coach Brad Stevens revealed a decision on whether Hayward requires an operation will be made on Sunday, adding: "It sounds like, should he decide that, the surgery option might actually be a better timeline. So we'll see how that all plays out."

Walker acknowledged the injury represented a blow for the 7-1 Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference, but urged other players to take the opportunities that will now come their way.

"We're definitely going to miss him, but you know, we just need guys to step up," said Walker.

"Now it's our opportunity for other guys until he comes back and we just have to hold the fort down."

No timeline has yet been placed on the recovery of Hayward, who missed the entire 2017-18 season after suffering a horrific ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener.

"It's tough, man," added Walker. "Obviously he's been through a lot with his old injury, and now this."

Hayward had made an impressive start to the season, averaging 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game prior to Saturday's contest.

Kemba Walker was "really emotional" after the reception he received on his return to Charlotte as the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak against the Hornets.

Playing in Charlotte for the first time since he left in the close season, Walker was given a warm reception from the crowd and was choked up when the team displayed a tribute video.

The three-time All-Star was below his best, scoring just 14 points, but the Celtics claimed a 108-87 victory to record their sixth straight win.

"It was special," Walker told reporters.

"Just to be back here, the amount of love I've been getting throughout this day, leading up to this day, the video just topped it off.

"It made me really emotional, I was trying to hold it in, but I couldn't, I knew I wasn't going to be able to.

"It was amazing, just a great feeling to know that they still have love for me even though I left. To be back and to get the reception I got was really cool."

Walker denied his below-par display had anything to do with the emotion of the night, adding: "I was just off, that's it. It's a part of the game.

"I just missed shots. I don't think the way I played had anything to do with the emotion or anything like that.

"My main focus was just to get a win and help in any way possible."

The 29-year-old revealed he did not catch up with Hornets owner Michael Jordan during his return, but said he remained close to the five-time MVP having spoken to him recently.

"MJ's always going to be a special guy in my life," Walker said.

"He's one of the reasons why I am who I am today. He gave me an opportunity to flourish as a basketball player, to grow as a man in this community.

"MJ's definitely going to have a special place in my heart, for sure."

Brooklyn faced adversity early against Houston on Friday night, but they rebounded to claim a 123-116 victory at Barclays Center.

The Nets fell into a hole early and trailed by as much as 15 in the first half before it found scoring from some surprising places.

Taurean Prince unexpectedly led the way offensively with a team-high 27 points for Brooklyn while Garrett Temple chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Brooklyn still called Kyrie Irving's number down the stretch and he sealed the game with a step-back dagger on a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He finished with 22 points on the night.

James Harden continued his ridiculous run at the charity stripe, tallying 36 points and eight rebounds while sinking 14 free throws. But he struggled from deep and made only two of his 16 long-range shots.

Houston has made a name for itself by shooting a large number of threes, but shooting at a 25 percent clip against a Brooklyn team that converted 59.4 percent from downtown didn't help their chances.

The Rockets dropped to 3-2 in the western conference, while the Nets improved to 2-3 in season 2019-20.

Kemba makes himself at home in the Garden

Kemba Walker scored 33 points in the Celtics' 104-102 win over the Knicks at TD Garden.

Russell Westbrook totalled 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and four steals against Brooklyn.

Andre Drummond tallied 25 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons fell to the Bulls 112-106.

Lopez and Garland wayward

Brook Lopez went 1-of-7 from the field and scored three points in the Bucks' 123-91 rout of the Magic.

Cleveland's Darius Garland missed all 10 of his shots and notched just two points in his team's 102-95 loss to the Pacers.

Tatum ices the game for the Celtics

Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and nailed the decisive basket as the Celtics snuck past the Knicks.

 

 

76ers at Blazers

Philadelphia is undefeated but they face a talented Portland team without Joel Embiid who is serving a two-game suspension for a skirmish with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns. How will the 76ers respond without their dominant post presence and defensive stud down low? Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum certainly won't make things easy for the Eastern Conference powerhouse.

Kemba Walker acknowledged it was "about time" he came up with his game-winning late efforts for the Boston Celtics against the Toronto Raptors.

The Celtics' major free-agent acquisition struggled in the team's opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, before continuing to have problems against defending champions the Raptors.

Walker had just 12 points at the Sixers, shooting 4-of-18 from the floor, including 1-of-8 from three-point range. He was a disappointing 4-of-13 and 1-of-5 against Toronto heading into the fourth quarter.

But the 29-year-old came off the bench with just over nine minutes of the game remaining and provided a spark for Boston, scoring 11 of the next 13 points for his team.

The Celtics ran out 112-106 winners, with Walker contributing 22 points and six rebounds in all.

"I was so happy," Walker said, via ESPN. "Like, 'About time'. It was a struggle, even from the last game to tonight.

"I wanted to be myself and these guys just allowed me to.

"I can't say enough about the people around me. The coaching staff, most importantly my team-mates, just really keeping me confident. They kept talking to me throughout the game.

"They knew I wanted to play well and I wanted to make shots, but I was struggling.

"But I can't say enough about it. They kept me confident. I really just appreciate those guys for keeping me level-headed, keeping me confident and just allowing me to be myself." 

Coach Brad Stevens was impressed, adding: "He just looked like he had an extra gear and he probably wasn't thinking about it going in. He was just going to be Kemba Walker."

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