Jayson Tatum joins Larry Bird in Celtics’ history books in loss to Hornets originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics ended their four-game road trip with a 121-118 overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets Monday night, bringing the Celtics to 11-3 on the year. In the loss, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum made franchise history becoming the second player in Celtics history to log at least 45 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists in a game.
Following in none other than Larry Bird’s footsteps, who accomplished that stat line four times in his 13 years with the Celtics, Tatum posted a season-high 45 points on 15-28 shooting, efficiently shooting 7-15 from deep. In his 44 minutes of play, Tatum was the team’s bright spot in their third loss on the year.
Playing without Al Horford and Derrick White, Tatum also led the team in rebounds and assists, with 13 and 6, respectively. Boston’s big Kristaps Porzingis had an off night, in terms of standards set so far this year, only logging 8 rebounds, so Tatum’s contributions on the boards were much needed. Rebounding was a struggle for the team as a whole, getting outrebounded by Charlotte 48 to 57.
Ball movement was a struggle for Boston as well, logging only 19 assists as a team, compared to their season average of 24.5. Assists have been a low point of the Celtic offense all season, ranking 27th among all teams in assists. Tatum showed improvement in the assist game in Monday night’s loss with 6, improving over his season average of 4.1 assists per game.
Tatum entered the game with only 3 blocks this season, and nearly doubled that. Logging 2 blocks against the Hornets, Tatum was a crucial part of the Celtics’ defense. While it was Charlotte forward Miles Bridges who hit the game winner, it wasn’t over Tatum, but rather Boston guard Jrue Holiday.
Each Celtic loss has seemed heartbreaking and demoralizing so far, but losses are bound to happen. The loss comes after a long road trip in the second night of a back-to-back without two key players in White and Horford. It was also Boston’s first trip to the overtime period this season, so you can be sure Celtics’ coach Joe Mazzulla will be taking notes on how to improve in OT moving forward.
Rather than harping on the loss, Celtics fans can choose to be happy over their star players’ historic performance as they look forward to taking on an Eastern Conference contender in the Milwaukee Bucks back at home on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET.