The Boston Celtics earned their sixth win in a row on Saturday night, taking down the Charlotte Hornets by a score of 122-106. With Jaylen Brown out due to an adductor strain and Derrick White exiting early after a scary collision, it was left to Jayson Tatum to carry the load.
He led the team in scoring and helped Boston mount a massive first-half comeback after being down by as many as 16 points. After the game, Hornets star LaMelo Ball sounded off on how the Celtics won the game, pointing towards Tatum as a primary reason.
“Actually, I say, a lot of second-chance rebounds. Third, fourth, fifth. And then, probably, Jayson Tatum got hot,” Ball said, explaining what allowed the Celtics to come back against the Hornets.
Tatum helped lead the charge for the Celtics, pouring in 17 points in the third quarter alone. He ended the night with a game-high 33 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. The superstar shot 12-of-27 from the floor and 4-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc.
As far as Ball’s other theory, it was true as well. Boston scored 15 second-chance points against the Hornets, shooting 6-of-14 on those opportunities. They outdueled Charlotte in that category by 15 points to 13.
Ball said that the Celtics’ 53 three-point attempts caused a lot of long rebounds that allowed them to snatch up a lot of long rebounds.
“Well, yeah, when you shoot a lot of threes, definitely gonna be a lot of long rebounds,” Ball explained. “So you gotta just get those. I feel like they was getting a lot of second-chance, third-chance, all that type of stuff. So it’s gonna be hard to win.”
The Hornets superstar had quite the game of his own, too. Ball poured in 31 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists on 11-of-27 shooting from the field and 1-of-8 shooting from three-point range.
Ben Simmons Sends Strong Message About Celtics
Ball isn’t the first rival star to send a strong message about the Celtics. After the Celtics’ recent win over the Brooklyn Nets, Ben Simmons complimented their team. He said that while they have plenty of talented individual players, their ability to play well as a team is what makes them so special.
“They have some great individuals, but when you put it together, they play team basketball,” Simmons said via Taylor Snow, the Celtics’ team reporter. “They know their roles, they share the ball, they’re very consistent.”
CJ McCollum Sounds Off on Celtics Roster
Another NBA star, New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, relayed a similar message about the Celtics after Boston’s win over his squad. He name-dropped multiple Celtics role players, noting that their roster is extremely well constructed.
“That’s a championship-caliber team; they’re battled tested,” McCollum said via CLNS Media. “They got a lot of different weapons; obviously, they’ve got two-headed monsters, but then they’ve got Malcolm Brogdon. They’ve got shooters all around them. White can shoot the ball. Horford can shoot the ball. [Grant] Williams can shoot it. So, they got a lot of different weapons that can hurt you. They got a taste of a potential championship, right? So, I think that’s the greed, that’s the hunger in them now to try to get back to that point.”