Marcus Smart celebrates a 3-pointer by holding his three fingers up to the sky

Keys to the Game: Celtics 140, Hornets 105

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

For the second time in as many days, the Boston Celtics were missing one of their star wings.

For the second time in as many days, it did not matter one bit.

Without the services of Jaylen Brown, the Celtics still clobbered the visiting Hornets by a count of 140-105. The victory ups Boston’s record to 17-4 overall.

This was a blowout from the start, as the C’s scored the game’s first five points and led 13-4 after the first three-plus minutes of the game. That lead grew as large as 27 points during the opening frame, at 43-16.

Boston blew the game open with a ridiculous shooting quarter that featured an insane 73.9 percent shooting percentage for the entire team. The Celtics canned 10 of their 15 shots from beyond the arc during the quarter, which nearly helped Marcus Smart to log a double-double during the first period alone. He finished with 10 points and eight assists during the quarter, with six of those assists leading to 3-pointers.

This lead did nothing but grow over the final three quarters. The C’s went on to pull ahead by as many as 42 before completing yet another dominant win.

Key Player

What a night by Marcus Smart, and one that was impressive from the very start.

As noted above, Smart nearly logged a double-double during the first quarter alone with his 10 points and eight assists. He finished the night with 22 points and 15 assists to help fuel a ridiculous offensive performance by the Celtics. Those 15 assists were both a game high and a new career high for Boston’s starting point guard.

This is a game that will boost Smart’s shooting splits on the season. He was red-hot all night. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year shot 8-for-11 from the field, including a remarkable 6-for-9 performance from long range.

Smart also added in two rebounds and two steals on the night, all while the Celtics outscored Charlotte by a whopping 44 points during his 30-plus minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston led from start to finish, pulling ahead by as many as 42 points.
  • The C's scored 140 points despite attempting only seven free throws.
  • Boston notched a season-high 40 assists.
  • Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 35 points on 15-for-28 shooting.
  • Eight Celtics made at least one 3-pointer, including seven of whom made multiple triples.
  • Marcus Smart logged a double-double of 22 points and a career-high 15 assists.
  • Jalen McDaniels led Charlotte with 24 points.
  • Malcolm Brogdon came off of Boston's bench to score 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting.
  • Boston outscored Charlotte by 44 points while Marcus Smart was on the court.
  • In a spot start, Blake Griffin tallied nine points and four rebounds.

Quote of the Night

"I think this year, his ability to see the matchups - see the possession before it happens - and using our playbook to use the matchup to figure out what he wants to run.’"

- Joe Mazzulla on what has taken Marcus Smart's floor-general skills to a new level