CHARLOTTE — Jayson Tatum went ballistic in the fourth quarter finishing with 51 points in the (33-12) Celtics win over the (11-34) Charlotte Hornets Monday, 130-118.
Tatum’s 18 point fourth quarter was a life saver as the C’s were without their co-star Jaylen Brown. That meant Tatum had to put on a show on Martin Luther King Day, in which he did. He was perfect from the free throw line with 14 shots.
“He didn’t settle for shots,” C’s head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “He got catch-and-shoots, he got off the dribbles, he got layups. The other piece of that is the humility of our team to really work with him to get those 51 points.”
After losing to the C’s Saturday, the Hornets put a little extra pep in their step. They went down early in the game by double digits but never lost hope. Celtics led at halftime, 66-55. Charlotte was able to bring the lead down to 2 points, but that’s when Tatum took over with his three-point ability.
Once again, Malcolm Brogdon was a helpful tool off the bench pouring in 16 points. Brogdon put up 30 against the Hornets Saturday and has been playing like a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Derrick White was the second leading scorer for Boston with 19.
Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels had a career night with 26 points. Mason Plumlee pulled in a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. LaMelo Ball had 25 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. They didn’t have enough defense to stop Tatum.
The Celtics will head back to Boston and get a NBA Finals rematch against the Golden State Warriors Thursday in hopes of an 8th straight win.