The game marked Terry Rozier’s regular season return to Boston, but it was his back court partner that started scary early. The first quarter of the game was marked by Charlotte’s marksmanship. Hornets’ Devonte’ Graham, early season candidate for Most Improved Player, hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc, contributing to a 7-for-10 start for his team. The Celtics would battle back in the second on the backs of their young players.
Romeo Langford hit his first career three and finished the first half with five points. Grant Williams continued his strong play against Detroit with five points as well. The 2019 first round picks would combine for twenty points off the bench.
This was also Kemba Walker’s first game against his old team in Boston. Walker proved to be the difference in the third quarter. He hit for eight points after halftime and 23 in total with four assists.
Tatum is lighting it up this quarter pic.twitter.com/gzFjSMvdz5— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 23, 2019
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continued their tag team scoring output. Over the previous five games, the duo had combined for 198 points. Sunday night, Tatum acted as closer in the fourth with 22 to add to his career-high 39 points. Brown would chip in with 16. Enes Kanter pulled down thirteen rebounds in 24 minutes.
A proper shower for Tatum's career-high 39pts pic.twitter.com/wmAP2d2Ib8— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 23, 2019
Before the game, Boston ruled out Gordon Hayward who had been probable yesterday. He joined Robert Williams and Vincent Poirier on the injury report. However, there’s good news on the Marcus Smart front. According to Brad Stevens, his eye infection is clearing up and he’ll rejoin the team tomorrow. It’s doubtful he’ll make the Christmas Day trip to Toronto.