Entering Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets, one of the storylines surrounding the Boston Celtics was speculation as to whether or not Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can lead this team to glory.
In a 120-111 win over Charlotte, and without Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart in the lineup, the All-Star duo showed they could.
The pair led the charge as Brown finished with a game-high 38 points, seven rebounds three assists and one block. Tatum recorded 35 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and one steal to complement the effort.
Rookie Aaron Nesmith enjoyed the best game of his young NBA career to help sway it Boston’s way. He finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three steals, but it was his defense that was most impressive.
With the win, the Celtics snap a three-game losing streak and improved to 33-30 on the season.
Here’s how it all went down:
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Evan Fournier
C: Tristan Thompson
PG: Tremont Waters
SG: Jaylen Brown
SO FAR SO GOOD
Remember how Brown was going off about the Celtics’ lack of urgency after last game?
Well that wasn’t a thing in the first quarter against the Hornets. Especially not from him, as he dropped 20 points (!!!) in the first quarter. With five boards and two assists, might we add.
He and Jayson Tatum played a great two-man game early, with the former adding nine points and four assists in support.
The first quarter ended with Boston up 39-19 after this triple from Brown to close it out.
BREAK THROUGH THE ZONE
The second quarter was a much different story, with a zone defense from Charlotte holding them to just 19 points in the quarter.
Brown sat much of the quarter, though, so Tatum and Tristan Thompson picked up some of the slack scoring.
Off the bench, Nesmith showed some of his best minutes as a Celtic and Robert Williams brought the energy in his first game back.
The Celtics led Charlotte 58-47 at the break.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Well a 20-point lead withered away in the blink of an eye out of halftime.
The defensive effort faltered, allowing Devonte Graham to get hot for Charlotte and snap Boston’s advantage to just three points.
But Nesmith kept earning his time with hustle, and he and Pritchard had seven points each off the bench by the end of the third, giving Boston the momentum to get some separation back.
The Celtics led 88-80 entering the final quarter.
BUILDING BACK A LEAD
Brown hit a 3-pointer to get the Celtics off on the right foot in the fourth.
But other than that, Nesmith continued his most memorable game to date with a number of plays, including back-to-back blocks and a triple that put Boston up six points.
Brown improved to 7-of-10 from beyond the arc later in the frame, helping Boston close out the game with around 10 points of seperation.
Back in the win column they go.
PLAY OF THE GAME
We missed you, Rob.
The Celtics remain at home in Boston through the weekend. They’ll take on the San Antonio Spurs on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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