The Boston Celtics ended 2019 by getting back into the win column as Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker all scored over 20 points to power the C’s over the Charlotte Hornets, 109-92, on New Year’s Eve at the Spectrum Center.
Tatum led the trio by scoring a game-high 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while Walker added 22 points and Hayward turned in a strong all-around performance with 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
For Boston, which improves to 23-8, it outscored Charlotte, 29-19, in the fourth quarter to close out the pesky Hornets as the Celtics earned their third win over the Hornets already this season, all of which have come by at least double digits. The C’s have also won six of their last seven games.
Tatum, who had a career-high 39 points in Boston’s win over Charlotte just over a week ago, got off to a sensational start, going 5-for-5 from the floor and netting 13 points in the opening quarter to stake the C’s to a lead midway through the frame, an advantage Boston never surrendered despite the Hornets hanging tough throughout. Tatum complemented his strong outside shooting, he knocked down 4-of-7 trifectas, with a couple of nifty left-handed finishes around the rim.
Hayward, who has been trying to regain his form since returning on Christmas Day after missing three games due to left foot soreness, looked like he found that form in the Queen City by flirting with a triple-double. Hayward had control of the offense and routinely hit shots from deep and in the mid-range.
Out of the way Hayward coming through pic.twitter.com/h8ujtz5ils— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 31, 2019
In his second trip back to his old stomping grounds, Walker, who spent his first eight NBA seasons in Charlotte, looked much more comfortable. To go along with his scoring production, Walker also had seven assists and three steals.
Enes Kanter was the only other member of the Celtics to finish in double figures. The veteran big man continues to provide valuable minutes off the bench as Kanter posted a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds along with blocking six shots.
Terry Rozier continues to struggle against his former team as Rozier shot just 4-of-13 from the field and scored 10 points.