Tatum, Celtics roll past Hornets for 6th straight victory

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 17 of his 33 points in a pivotal third quarter, Malcolm Brogdon added 30 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets 122-106 on Saturday night to push their winning streak to six.

Al Horford had 16 points and Marcus Smart added 13 points and 12 assists for the Celtics, who made 19 3-pointers and erased a 16-point, first-half deficit.

LaMelo Ball finished 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 rout of the Hornets on Nov. 28, shook off a slow start and an early technical foul and finished 12 of 27 from the field. The crowd at Charlotte's Spectrum Center periodically erupted into chants of “MVP! MVP!” after Tatum wowed with a variety of special plays, including deep 3-pointers, driving dunks and fall-away jumpers.

The Hornets shot 57.8% in the first half and led by 16 before the Celtics came storming back late in the second quarter to cut the lead to 66-62 behind 12 3-pointers.

Boston began to pull away in the third quarter, outscoring the Hornets 33-19 behind Tatum, who was 7 of 12 from the field, including four 3-pointers.

The Celtics led by double digits most of the fourth quarter and were never challenged again.

TIP INS

Celtics: Derrick White started fast with eight points in the first four minutes, before leaving the game with a neck sprain after colliding with Smart. ... Tatum picked up a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing a call.

Hornets: Mason Plumlee had 16 rebounds.

UP NEXT

The teams will play again Monday at the Spectrum Center in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee game.

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Steve Reed, The Associated Press