After stumbling through three straight losses and earning a days rest after a back-to-back in Philadelphia, the Celtics returned home to face a long, young and athletic New Orleans Pelicans team.
Jayson Tatum hit on 5-6 to start the game and had more made buckets in the first quarter than he did in the entire game vs the 76ers. Behind Tatum and the team shooting a blistering 57% from the field, Boston opened up with 41-24 lead.
Brian Scalabrine noted pre-game he wanted to see an unselfish team tonight. Good things happen when this team trusts each other and makes the extra passes. The ball was popping around the court with Boston breaking down the New Orleans Pelicans zone expertly, the end result a loud finish by Enes Kanter.
This was just too pretty. That's the ball movement that's been missing these last few games pic.twitter.com/z8qiRols61— Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorNBA) January 12, 2020
Marcus Smart came into the game immediately looked to pass and make plays, this crossover to spin culminated in a behind the head pass to Enes Kanter for the easy two.
Ok Marcus pic.twitter.com/N18YDQ3Yo8— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) January 12, 2020
Pelicans Rookie Jaxson Hayes looked good for NOLA early, he is a long rim runner and proved problematic inside for Boston’s Daniel Theis. Cue Enes Kanter, who in his limited early minutes was almost unstoppable inside whilst being efficient on the glass. Kanter would end the night with 18 rebounds and 22 points. The Celtics high volume of shots in the paint in the first half was a season high in attempts.
Kanter has 10 points and 5 rebounds in less than 8 minutes.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 12, 2020
@EnesKanter pic.twitter.com/m6ar0Ioiia— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 12, 2020
The Celtics sustained a charge from New Orleans in the form of Brandon Ingram and Frank Jackson late in the half, but Jayson Tatum continued to stroke the ball with supreme confidence en route to 22 points in the first half alone on 8-11 field goals.
As the third quarter got underway, the Celtics aggressively got out in transition and filling the lane was Gordon Hayward (19 pts, 5 rebs) who was the beneficiary of some excellent passing from Tatum and Brown.
Air Gordon ️— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 12, 2020
( @MetroByTMobile ) pic.twitter.com/nnfqHyXqWd
In a career high night, Jayson Tatum was brimming with confidence and displayed deft scoring inside and outside on 16-22 field goals. Resting the entire 4th quarter, Tatum would end the game with 41 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists.
A new career-high 4⃣1⃣pts for Jayson Tatum— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 12, 2020
( @MetroByTMobile ) pic.twitter.com/k9oV28FSmP
Boston now move to 26-11 on the season and will next host the Chicago Bulls on Monday 13th of January at 7:30pm.