Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
What a game. What a win. What a road trip.
The Celtics are flying back to Boston with a sweep of their two-game road trip thanks to an overtime thriller Monday night in Charlotte. Every player who was on the court made critical plays for Boston down the stretch to help the C’s come out on top. One of those plays stood out above the rest.
This game might not have even gone to overtime without the insanely impactful defense of Marcus Smart. He forced multiple turnovers on the night, the most important of which arrived with 11.3 seconds left in regulation to ensure the C’s would at least advance to overtime.
The Hornets called for a timeout with the game tied at 122-122 with 14.7 seconds remaining in the final quarter. Their clear intention was to take the final shot of regulation and either grab the win at the buzzer, or head to overtime. They got the latter due to Smart.
Former Celtic Gordon Hayward was Charlotte’s inbounder, and he should have known better than to force a pass anywhere near Smart with the game hanging in the balance. For some reason, however, Hayward bypassed his knowledge of Smart’s defensive abilities and tried to force a pass in to LaMelo Ball at midcourt.
Smart, like the All-Defensive player that he is, reached in with his right hand and broke the pass up. The ball trickled away from Smart and Ball and into the hands of Jayson Tatum before the Celtics called for their own timeout to set up a final play.
Boston wasn’t able to score on the final possession, but it was able to control the final 2:54 of the ensuing overtime period to grab the win. The C’s held Charlotte scoreless for that entire stretch, all while Smart, Dennis Schroder, Jaylen Brown, Tatum and Rob Williams made clutch play after clutch play to seal the 140-129 victory.
Jayson Tatum messed around and nearly grabbed a 40-point triple-double Monday night. And the crazy thing is, he didn’t even play at his best throughout his 41-plus minutes of action.
Tatum scored a game-high 41 points thanks to a stellar shooting night that featured a 14-for-28 performance from the field, a 6-for-12 effort from long range, and a perfect 7-for-7 night from the free-throw line. Tatum scored 11 more points than the game’s second-leading scorer, which was his teammate Jaylen Brown (30 points).
In order to threaten for a triple-double, one must go well beyond the scoring column with his play, and that’s exactly what Tatum did. He also tied for the team high in assists with eight while hauling in seven boards to go along with one blocked shot. He committed just two turnovers on the night.
Unsurprisingly, Boston dominated Charlotte while Tatum was on the floor. The C’s outscored the Hornets by 22 points during his 41-plus minutes of play, giving him by far the top plus/minus rating of the night.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jayson Tatum (41 points) and Jaylen Brown (30 points) were the game's top two scorers.
- Tatum also tied Dennis Schroder for the team-high in assists with eight.
- Both teams led by at least 11 points during the game.
- Boston shot 49.5 percent from the field during the game.
- The C's dished out 33 assists compared to only 12 turnovers.
- LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges tied for Charlotte's top scoring spot with 25 points apiece.
- Ball also dished out a game-high nine assists, but did commit a game-high six turnovers.
- Tatum was a game-best plus-22 in the plus/minus category, while former Celtic Gordon Hayward was logged a game-worst minus-23 for Charlotte.
- Jabari Parker came off the bench to score 13 points, 11 of which were tallied during the first quarter.
- Rob Williams grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and blocked a game-high three shots to go along with 12 points and four assists.
- Schroder scored 23 points, attempted a game-high eight free throws, and also pitched in eight assists and six rebounds
- Both teams attempted at least 101 shots during the game.
Quote of the Night
"Man, Smart is a dog, man.'"
Rob Williams on Marcus Smart