CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 17 of his 33 points in a crucial third quarter, Malcolm Brogdon added 30 points and the Boston Celtics defeated the Charlotte Hornets 122-106 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to six.
Al Horford had 16 points and Marcus Smart added 13 points and 12 assists for the Celtics, who had 19 3-pointers and made up a 16-point deficit in the first half.
LaMelo Ball finished the tournament with 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Charlotte. Terry Rozier had 21 points for the Hornets, who have lost seven of their last eight games.
Tatum, who had 35 points in a 140-105 Hornets loss on Nov. 28, shrugged off a slow start and an early technical foul to finish 12 of 27. The crowd at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center regularly erupted in chants of “MVP! MVP!” after Tatum wowed with a variety of specialty plays, including deep 3-pointers, driving dunks, and fallaway jumpers.
The Hornets shot 57.8% in the first half and led by 16 points before the Celtics charged back late in the second quarter and cut the lead to 66-62 behind 12 3-pointers.
Boston began retiring in the third quarter, beating the Hornets 33-19 behind Tatum, who was 7 of 12 from the field, including four 3-pointers.
The Celtics led by double digits for most of the fourth quarter and were never challenged again.
Celtics: Derrick White started quickly with eight points in the first four minutes before leaving the game with a sprained neck after colliding with Smart. … Tatum caught a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing a call.
Hornets: Mason Plumlee had 16 rebounds.
The teams will play again Monday at the Spectrum Center in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee game.
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