NBA regular season

Tatum leads group effort as Celtics top Hornets

Tatum leads group effort as Celtics top Hornets

PULLING AWAY. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics ride on a blistering second-quarter run to make easy work of the Hornets.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics win back-to-back games, dealing the Hornets a 30-point beating behind Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum scored 22 points with 8 rebounds and the Boston Celtics rode dominant middle quarters to a 116-86 rout of the Charlotte Hornets at the TD Garden on Sunday, April 4 (Monday, April 5, Manila time).

A 19-4 run to open the 2nd quarter, kicked off when Romeo Langford knocked down one of the Celtics’ 21 made three-pointers on the night, turned a one-point deficit into a lead that never dipped below 8 for the rest of the way.

The Celtics closed the period on a 9-2 run to finish the period with a 33-17 edge, then carried the momentum into a 40-27 third-quarter output. Tatum closed the period with a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

The Celtics’ lead swelled behind strong defense, which forced 17 Charlotte turnovers, and balanced offense. Six Celtics scored at least 12 points, including 17 from Jaylen Brown on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

Marcus Smart scored all 12 of his points from three-point range, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Evan Fournier, playing his fourth game since his trade to Boston last month, made 4-of-5 3-pointers en route to 17 points.

Fournier also matched teammate Kemba Walker and Hornets’ Devonte’ Graham with a game-high 6 assists. Walker, the former Hornet, also added 12 points.

Robert Williams III continued his strong play since moving into the starting lineup with the trade of Daniel Theis to Chicago, posting 16 points with 8 rebounds.

Terry Rozier led Charlotte with 22 points, but was 1 of only 3 Hornets to score in double-figures. Graham scored 11 points, and Miles Bridges finished with 10 points.

PJ Washington finished with 3 points, more than 8 below his season average. Brad Wanamaker, Cody Zeller, and Jalen McDaniels all scored 7 points in the loss.

The loss was the Hornets’ second in the week by 22 points or more. Charlotte lost a 111-89 decision to Brooklyn on Thursday. –