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Jayson Tatum’s 51 points power Celtics past Hornets

Jan 16, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) gets the edge on the opening tip-off over Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee (24) during the first quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum racked up a season-high 51 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the last 54 seconds, and the Boston Celtics defeated the host Charlotte Hornets 130-118 on Monday afternoon.

Tatum shot 15-for-23 from the field, making seven 3-pointers, and connected on all 14 of his free-throw attempts. He holds the franchise record for regular-season games with 50 or more points at five.

Derrick White had 19 points and Malcolm Brogdon provided all 16 of his points in the first half. Marcus Smart added 10 points.

Boston, which won its seventh game in a row, led by 17 points in the first half, but that margin was down to 100-98 with about nine minutes left. The Celtics’ 20-for-43 shooting on 3s was too much for Charlotte to keep up.

Jalen McDaniels pumped in a career-high 26 points and LaMelo Ball poured in 25 for the Hornets. Mason Plumlee scored 19 points, P.J. Washington added 17 points and Terry Rozier finished with 14.

The Celtics completed a sweep in Charlotte after winning 122-106 on Saturday night.

This had some elements that were similar with Boston’s long-range shooting and Brogdon’s boost from the bench. But the Celtics had to work down the stretch.

Boston’s 6-0 run increased its lead to 109-101, beginning with Tatum’s layup.

The lead swelled to 121-110 on a pair of Tatum free throws and White’s basket off a drive.

Tatum’s 3-pointers with 1:04 and 38 seconds remaining added to his late-game blitz. He also finished with nine rebounds and five assists while playing 40 minutes.

The Celtics were 24-for-25 on free throws.

Boston led 66-55 at halftime, hitting 10 shots from 3-point range by then.

McDaniels made five of Charlotte’s 13 baskets from 3-point range. His previous career-high mark was 24 points in November, also against Boston. Ball also hit five 3s.

Charlotte ended up with only five turnovers and made 23 of 30 free throws, but the inability to defend the perimeter proved costly.

–Field Level Media