The Boston Celtics collapsed against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, falling 124-117 after allowing a 30-5 scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte's comeback, torching Boston for 18 of his game-high 36 points during the final 7:43 of regulation. After Walker's heroics, Kyrie Irving questioned the Celtics' defensive tactics down the stretch.
"We should have probably trapped him a little bit more, like every team does in the league," Irving said postgame, according to ESPN. "But we didn't. Torches us every time we play him. So it's no surprise."
Walker entered Saturday's meeting averaging 28.3 points over three previous contests this season between the two clubs. However, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said his team's fourth-quarter crash didn't just happen because of the All-Star guard heating up at the right time.
"Obviously, when you lose an 18-point lead, there is a lot of things that go wrong," Stevens said. "I thought they did a good job of chipping away at it. (And) we did everything that the book is written on to lose a game that you are up 18 at that point."
The Celtics (43-30) have dropped three straight and sit fifth in the Eastern Conference.