"You can't lay down. Nobody's going to feel sorry for you," he said. "You have to come every night and compete and hope for the best."
The Celtics scored 13 of the game's first 15 points and never trailed. Rondo had five assists and seven points in the opening 6:17.
Boston led by as many as 18 in the second quarter before the Bobcats went on a 9-1 run, getting seven points from Kidd-Gilchrist. Charlotte scored 13 of the first 15 points in the second half to tie it on Warrick's steal that set up a dunk by Kidd-Gilchrist.
"Every coach I talk to about (the Bobcats) says the same thing: 'They just keep playing,'" Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "It's hard to do but it's nice to see."
But the Celtics scored the next seven points, getting a pair of free throws from Garnett and, after Rondo blocked Bismack Biyombo's shot, Jared Sullinger made a hook shot. Brandon Bass stole an errant pass by Walker and Bradley hit a 3-pointer to make it 65-58.
The Bobcats never got within one possession again.
NOTES: Celtics F Chris Wilcox, who is out with a sprained right thumb, did a video chat before the game with fans in Afghanistan. ... The Celtics won all three meetings between the teams last year. ... Walker scored 12 points. He has reached double figures in scoring in 34 of 37 games.