Jayson Tatum gives the Kiss of Death while scoring 51 points in Charlotte

Keys to the Game: Celtics 130, Hornets 118

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Unlike Saturday's matchup with the Hornets, when Boston didn't take control of the game until the second half, the C's owned Monday afternoon's rematch from the first quarter on.

Boston led for the majority of the opening frame and used a 10-0 run late in the period to take a 29-19 lead. While this game never turned into a blowout, and did get close for a brief stretch during the fourth quarter, that early run established the tenor of the game and Boston's victory never truly felt as if it was in jeopardy the rest of the way.

Three players combined to score 10 points during the run, which was bookended by 3-pointers. Marcus Smart hit the first triple before Jayson Tatum put home two buckets at the rim. Malcolm Brogdon then capped the spurt with a 3-pointer of his own off a pass from Grant Williams.

Charlotte did climb to within two points on multiple occasions during the fourth quarter, but the Celtics responded each time with key plays to extend the lead and eventually polish off a 130-118 win.

Key Player

Well, Jayson Tatum didn't leave us much of a choice here. That's what happens when you drop a 51-piece on the road.

Tatum eclipsed the 40-point mark with 3:59 to go and somehow added 11 more to his total from that moment on. That's thanks in large part to his back-to-back-to-back 3s from the 2:01 mark of the fourth to the 38-second mark. That final triple accounted for Boston's final points of the night and brought the entire building to its feet.

It's obvious that 51 points pops off the stat sheet, but what's even more impressive is the manner in which Tatum scored those points. He required only 23 shot attempts, and that's because he canned seven of his 12 shots from long distance, and all 14 of his free throws. This is the most efficient 50-point performance in the NBA this season in terms of field goal attempts.

Tatum rounded out his box score with a team-best nine rebounds to go along with five assists.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Three Celtics (Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, Grant Williams) tied for the team high in rebounds with nine apiece.
  • Tatum scored a season-high 51 points.
  • Derrick White scored 19 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.
  • Boston's bench doubled up Charlotte's in scoring by a count of 34-17.
  • Much of that scoring came from Malcolm Brogdon, who notched 16 off the. bench.
  • LaMelo Ball led Charlotte with 25 points.
  • Boston shot an impressive 24-for-25 from the field as a team, led by Tatum's 14-for-14 effort.
  • The Celtics tallied 34 assists compared to just 11 turnovers.
  • All five of Charlotte's starters scored at least 14 points.
  • Mason Plumlee led the game with 12 rebonds.
  • Boston's largest lead was 17 points, while Charlotte's was just one.

Quote of the Night

"Just how together we're playing on both ends. We're really getting almost any shot we want every time down the floor."

- Jayson Tatum on what has generated Boston's seven-game winning streak