Marcus Morris' 'picture perfect' switch forces Kemba Walker miss, preserves Boston Celtics victory |


"Not a lot of people can stay in front of Kemba," Rozier said, "as we all know."

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"Marcus Morris' switch on Kemba (Walker) at the end of the game is as good as you can do," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "That was picture perfect. Kemba has created more highlight reels out of people that switch than probably anybody around. And so Marcus just did a tremendous job. Made him take a really tough shot."

Ask Boston Celtics big man Daniel Theis, who appeared frozen while trying to stop Walker during one first-half possession Friday night, or Terry Rozier, who spent some  time chasing around the All-Star guard. 

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By Jay King

Marcus Morris with the lockdown defense on Kemba Walker, Terry Rozier grabs the rebound and draws the foul

After Rozier rebounded Walker's miss and hit two free throws, Jaylen Brown deflected Charlotte's ensuing inbounds pass to end a huge Celtics comeback and extend a long winning streak to 11 games. Boston trailed by 12 points at the end of the third quarter, but held the Hornets to just three points over the next nine minutes. 

"It's very tough staying in front of Kemba," Morris said. "He's a good guard, very crafty. I've been watching Kemba for a little while so I knew the step back was coming at some point. I just tried to stay on top of it and lock his ass down."

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Morris is still on a 22-24 minute restriction after knee soreness sidelined him in the early season, but knocked down a tough midrange jumper during the final minute to give the Celtics a three-point lead. That bucket helped make up for an early-shot-clock 3-pointer he had missed with 52 seconds left and the Celtics up 88-84.

"I thought I was going to make it," Morris said of the long shot, which was destined to be either a dagger or a mistake. "But I sat so damn long, I kind of lost my rhythm for a little bit. The minutes' restriction is killing me because if I'm playing well and have a good rhythm, I have to come out. That's kind of killing me. I ended up making up for it so that's all that matters."

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Walker can put people on skates, but Celtics big man Marcus Morris stayed in front of the guard to preserve a 90-87 Boston comeback win. Trying to hold onto a one-point lead in the final 15 seconds, the Celtics called on a switch-everything lineup, which featured Morris at center. The Hornets targeted him, but Morris shuffled his feet, stayed with Walker throughout a crossover dribble, and contested a stepback jumper without fouling.

BOSTON -- Defending Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker can be treacherous.