CHARLOTTE, N.C. —— Jayson Tatum put on a scoring clinic for the Boston Celtics on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, racking up a season-high 51 points in their 130-118 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Tatum shot an impressive 15-for-23 from the field, including 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, and also contributed nine rebounds and five assists in the win. [BOX SCORE]
With this performance, Tatum holds the franchise record for regular-season games with 50 or more points at five. His teammates also had a solid outing, with Derrick White adding 19 points and eight assists and Malcolm Brogdon contributing 16 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers.
”He [Tatum] wants to be great and he takes that challenge each and every night. He’s seen a lot of defense during his time in the league and he is making the right read off of that.”
The Hornets had their own standout performances, with Jalen McDaniels scoring a career-high 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and LaMelo Ball scoring 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Mason Plumlee also had a solid game, ending with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
The game was close down the stretch, but the Celtics pulled away with a 6-0 run that increased their lead to 109-101, starting with Tatum’s layup.
Tatum, who reached 33 points after three quarters, also hit two 3-pointers in the last 54 seconds while making all 14 of his free-throw attempts to help seal the win for the Celtics.
”He makes me look like a better coach,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said.
”He didn’t settle for shots,” added Mazzulla. ”He got catch-and-shoots, he got off the dribbles, he got layups. The other piece of that is the humility of our team to really work with him to get those 51 points.”
At halftime, the Celtics led 66-55 and went on to complete a sweep of the Hornets after winning 122-106 on Saturday night. They shot 20-43 from 3-pointers for 46.5% and 49.4% from the field overall. The Hornets shot 45.6% in the defeat.
The Celtics will now host Washington on Thursday night, while the Hornets will open a four-game road trip at Houston on Wednesday night.
Charlotte is hoping to have Gordon Hayward (hamstring) and Cody Martin (knee soreness) back for the team’s upcoming four-game road trip.