Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Celtics 118, Hornets 104: Jayson Tatum, Sam Hauser each drop 25 in six-game road trip finale

The Celtics concluded their six-game road trip with a 118-104 victory over the Charlotte Hornets Monday night at the Spectrum Center.

Jayson Tatum finished with 25 points on 9-of-19 from the floor to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists, while Sam Hauser also netted 25 points on 9-of-13 from the field to lead the C's without Jaylen Brown (hand sprain) in the lineup.
"I feel like we are always making the right pass and making the extra reads," Hauser said in his postgame presser. "JT [Tatum] draws a lot of traps and and extra help and he's able to make the right plays out of that."
Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points, seven rebounds, Derrick White had 19 points, nine rebounds and Al Horford chipped in 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting to help Boston improve to 59-16 and avenge an 121-118 overtime loss early in the season against Charlotte.

The Celtics are now 27-0 when they knock down at least 18 3-pointers in a game, as Hauser was the leader with seven of team's 19 made from long distance.
"I think just layers of our offense is what unleashes him," Joe Mazzulla said. "The guys understand that he's a weapon in different ways, and so when we get to the second and third layer of our offense, especially when teams are guarding us a certain way, it really unleashes guys like Sam. And his teammates continuing to trust him and find him within the layers of our offense."
Miles Bridges had a game-high 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists, while old friend Grant Williams netted 23 points and Brad Miller recorded 19 points for the Hornets -- that dropped to 18-57 on the season.

Charlotte led 32-30 after the opening period, before the Celtics took a 59-53 advantage into the break followed by a 22-14 spurt to start the third quarter.

Boston was ahead by 19 (98-79), the largest margin of the night on a Hauser 3-pointer with 11:43 remaining in the final frame, but the closest the Hornets would get the rest of the way was 13 (111-98) in the last 4:23 left to play.

The Celtics went 4-2 on their longest trip of the season, and are now a league-best 27-13 on the road. They'll return to the TD Garden (32-3) to host the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder (52-22) Wednesday night. ESPN has the tip-off at 7:30 pm ET.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 48.3% from the field, including 35.8% from 3-point range, while the Hornets were 45.1% from the floor and 13-of-37 (35.1%) from behind the arc. The C's out-rebounded the home team 51-40, but were outscored 48-44 in the paint. The Celtics handed out 28 assists (11 turnovers) on 43 baskets and Charlotte also dished out 28 assists (seven turnovers) on 41 made shots. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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