Tatum leads rally in 4th, Celtics snap 2-game home skid with 118-112 win over Pelicans
Mon, Jan 29, 2024
NBA News (AP)
BOSTON (AP) - Jayson Tatum scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics rallied past the New Orleans Pelicans 118-112 on Monday night.
The victory snapped a two-game skid at home for Boston, which started the season 20-0 at TD Garden.
Jaylen Brown added 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had 20 points and Derrick White finished with 17.
The Pelicans led by 17 in the first half but were outscored 68-52 over the final two quarters to drop their third straight game.
Brandon Ingram led New Orleans with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Zion Williamson finished with 26 points.
The Pelicans outscored the Celtics 58-44 in the paint but committed six of their 12 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
In his second game back since sitting out with a bruised bone in his left foot, Williamson's scoring and ability to slice through Boston's interior defense helped New Orleans stay in front for most of the night.
The Celtics tightened things up defensively in the fourth quarter, turning back-to-back stops into a floating jumper and 3-pointer by White to cap a 13-3 run that tied the game at 94 with just over six minutes to play.
Two lead changes later, another 3 by White put Boston in front 99-98. That was followed by Tatum's steal, which he punctuated with a two-handed dunk.
A free throw by Tatum and layup by White pushed the lead to 104-99.
Boston got it up to 109-103 when Tatum came up with another steal. He pushed the ball up the floor, found a lane and slid in for another dunk with 1:42 remaining.
A slow start doomed Boston during its 19-point loss to the Clippers on Saturday. The Celtics again came out sluggish against the Pelicans, quickly falling behind by 14 in the opening quarter.
New Orleans extended its lead to 17 in the second before a late Boston spurt cut it to 60-50 at halftime.
The Celtics needed less than three minutes of the third quarter to trim the deficit to two. Williamson responded by scoring the Pelicans' next nine points over the next two-plus minutes to help keep New Orleans in front.
Boston surged again with a 9-2 run, capped by Sam Hauser's 26-footer to give the Celtics their first lead since early in the first quarter.
But the Pelicans settled down and took an 87-81 edge into the final period.
Pelicans: At the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Celtics: Host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nbaKYLE HIGHTOWER Sports writer covering Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox & Bruins. twitter mailto "