NBA: Jayson Tatum (38 points) leads Celtics past Pelicans

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 30 2022 10:54 AM

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) dribbles up court against the New Orleans Pelicans in the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) dribbles up court against the New Orleans Pelicans in the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum scored 38 points and Jaylen Brown added 31 as the visiting Boston Celtics defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 107-97 on Saturday night.

Josh Richardson came off the bench to score 10 points, Robert Williams III had 16 rebounds, and Marcus Smart had 12 assists for the Celtics, who shot 53.1 percent from the floor, including 14 of 41 on 3-pointers.

Rookie Jose Alvarado scored a season-high 19 points, Willy Hernangomez added 14, Garrett Temple and Devonte' Graham scored 12 each, Herbert Jones scored 11, and Josh Hart had 10 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who shot 43.9 percent, including 8 of 32 on 3-pointers.

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New Orleans played without Brandon Ingram (ankle injury), who leads the team in scoring and assists, and Jonas Valanciunas (non-COVID illness), who leads the team in rebounding and is second in scoring.

The Pelicans trimmed an 18-point halftime deficit to 13 early in the third quarter, but Al Horford and Dennis Schroder each made a 3-pointer to help the Celtics stretch the lead to 70-52.

Alvarado's layup completed an 18-8 run that pulled New Orleans to 78-70 at the end of the third quarter.

Smart had three points and an assist as Boston increased the lead to 88-75 early in the fourth quarter and coasted.

During the first quarter, Brown scored 12 points and Tatum 11 as the Celtics raced to a 27-8 lead.

The Pelicans missed their first 11 3-pointers before Alvarado made one to cut the deficit to 27-15 at the end of the quarter as Boston went scoreless for the final 3:13.

Alvarado hit another 3-pointer and added a layup to get New Orleans within seven points at the outset of the second quarter.

But the Pelicans went cold again, and the Celtics built the lead to as much as 20 points before Hart's jumper trimmed the lead to 52-34 at halftime.

Brown and Tatum combined for 38 points in the half while the Pelicans had their lowest-scoring half of the season and made just 2 of 19 3-pointers.