The Charlotte Hornets are no longer undefeated after a tough 140-129 loss vs. the Boston Celtics. Despite the 11-point margin, this was a hard-fought, close game where Charlotte looked like the better team for a large part of the contest. However, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s shot-making abilities propelled the Celtics to a win in what was a true shootout with little defense from either side.
Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball continued their hot streak in this one. Bridges and Ball each had 25 points, but it was a team effort for the most part. Seven different players ended the game with double-digit scoring numbers.
Kelly Oubre Jr. started the game on fire from behind the arc, nailing his first five threes of the night. Unfortunately, he went super cold after his hot start. Despite this, the team as a whole was a flamethrower from deep. Charlotte finished 19-44 (43.2%) from range.
The Celtics like to switch everything on defense and the Hornets took full advantage of that. It led to a ton of open three-point attempts. Boston was not as hot (38%), but they did notch a few more attempts. The Celtics attempted 50, while the Hornets only took 44 on the night. Charlotte’s success from deep was the thing that gave them the biggest leg up in this one.
That being said, Jayson Tatum was on fire for the Celtics. He ended the night with 41 points and was a killer from the mid-range. Grant Williams was continuously helping him get open and once he made a couple of shots the floodgates were open. As soon as he got hot it was nearly impossible to stop him from scoring. The C’s were doing a great job of getting him easy looks from everywhere on the court.
Jaylen Brown also played super well for the Celtics (30 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals). Both Tatum and Brown ended the night with 30 or more points. Dennis Schroder (23 points) was also a key contributor for them as he shot 6-14 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. Those three, along with an unexpected 13 points from Jabari Parker, led the way for Boston in the scoring column.
As usual, the Hornets thrived in transition. That was the main place where they were able to hurt the Celtics. Ish Smith and Ball led this charge, as there was no one on the Celtics who could keep up with them. It seemed as though every time the Hornets pulled down a rebound they were able to score on the other end almost immediately.
Regardless, the Celtics kept fighting throughout the game. Charlotte looked like the better team for the majority of the contest, but Boston was a constant thorn in their side. They played poorly on defense up until the very end when they turned it on just a little bit. This was the spark that was able to keep them in the game at all.
In the end, the game went to overtime and the Celtics took over. Brown hit a couple of big shots, including a massive dunk over Bridges, and the C’s sealed themselves a win. Ball ended up fouling out towards the end due to a couple of frustration fouls. It’s never fun to see a game slip away like this, but the Celtics just turned it up at the end and the Hornets didn’t answer.
Charlotte is now 3-1 on the year, but they have looked phenomenal so far. They’ll have a chance to bounce back from this one on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. That game tips off at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed on Bally Sports Southeast and NBA League Pass.