Jayson Tatum leads group effort as the Celtics top the Charlotte Hornets in Boston

Apr 4, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Jayson Tatum (0) dribbles the ball against Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Terry Rozier (3) defending during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum scored 22 points with eight rebounds, and the Boston Celtics rode dominant middle quarters to a 116-86 rout of the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday at TD Garden.

A 19-4 run to open the second quarter, kicked off when Romeo Langford knocked down one of Boston’s 21 made 3-pointers on the night, turned a one-point deficit into a lead that never dipped below eight for the rest of the way.

The Celtics closed the period on a 9-2 run to finish the period with a 33-17 edge, then carried the momentum into a 40-27 third quarter. Tatum closed the third with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Boston’s lead swelled behind strong defense, which forced 17 Charlotte turnovers, and balanced offense. Six Celtics scored at least 12 points, including 17 from Jaylen Brown on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

Marcus Smart scored all 12 of his points from outside, going 4-of-7 from deep. Evan Fournier, playing his fourth game since his trade to Boston last month, made 4-of-5 3-pointers en route to 17 points.

Fournier also matched teammate Kemba Walker and Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham with a game-high six assists. Walker, the former Hornet, also added 12 points.

Robert Williams III continued his strong play since moving into the starting lineup with the trade of Daniel Theis to Chicago, posting 16 points with eight rebounds.

Terry Rozier led Charlotte with 22 points, but was one of only three Hornets to score in double-figures. Graham scored 11 points, and Miles Bridges finished with 10 points.

P.J. Washington was limited after being called for his third personal foul midway through the third quarter. He finished with three points, more than eight below his season average. Brad Wanamaker, Cody Zeller and Jalen McDaniels all scored seven points.

Sunday’s loss was Charlotte’s second in the week by 22 points or more. The Hornets lost a 111-89 decision to Brooklyn on Thursday.

–Field Level Media