Night in and night out, Jayson Tatum continues to reassert himself as a true NBA superstar. It was Tatum leading the charge as the Celtics pulled away from the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night in a 115-101 win.
The win is the Celtics’ 40th of the season. They’ve now won four games in a row, six of their last seven, and 17 of their last 20. At 40-27, the C’s are now tied with the Bulls for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Things were back-and-forth for most of the first quarter, with neither team gaining a significant advantage on the scoreboard. It was the Celtics that found their groove first, closing the quarter on an 8-0. That gave them a 29-22 lead heading into the second.
Charlotte answered with a 9-0 run to start the second quarter. That run came with former Celtic Isaiah Thomas on the floor – Thomas is currently on a 10-day contract with the Hornets. The Celtics responded with an 8-0 run of their own, with five points coming from Derrick White. Despite getting up by as many at 15 points, the Celtics led 52-48 at the break.
Midway through the third quarter, the Hornets went on a 13-2 run to regain the lead. Once again though, Boston closed the quarter strong. That included five points in the final 13 seconds, allowing the Celtics to take an 87-78 lead into the final frame.
To start the fourth quarter, Tatum entered that next level he seemingly found in February and led the Celtics to pulling away. He scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the quarter as the team went on a 13-5 run. In total, Tatum scored 13 in the quarter as he sat down with the team comfortably ahead for the final minutes.
After scoring 54 points against the Nets last time out on Sunday, Tatum totaled 44 on Wednesday night. He shot 16-of-24 from the field and 6-of-9 from three.
Two Celtics finished the game with double-doubles. Robert Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Al Horford had 10 and 10. Marcus Smart was an assist short with 12 points and nine dimes, while Derrick White scored 11 points with eight assists off the bench.
Forwards P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges led the Hornets with 17 points each. Lonzo Ball scored 15 and former Celtic Terry Rozier, after lighting up his old team last time out, finished with 14 points and five steals. Thomas ended up playing 11 minutes, scoring five points.
The Celtics return to TD Garden on Friday for the first of two home games this weekend. They’ll take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m., with pregame coverage starting at 7 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Click here for complete Boston Celtics coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.