With their win over the Charlotte Hornets on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Boston Celtics moved to 33-12 on the season, extending their win streak to seven in the process. It was a dominant performance from Jaylen Brown that got the job done.
He led the Celtics in scoring, and with Jaylen Brown sidelined due to an adductor strain, Boston needed him to step up in a big way. After the contest, former Celtic and current Hornet Terry Rozier was clearly frustrated with the loss. When asked about Tatum’s night, he spoke about how tough the Celtics star is to stop.
“It’s tough to stop him. Nothing you can do about it,” Rozier told Scott Foster of the Charlotte Observer. And on top of that, when asked about whether or not it was frustrating to watch Tatum play so well, Rozier gave an abrupt response – “Nah.”
Tatum was on fire against the Hornets, and there was seemingly nothing anyone could do to slow him down. The Celtics superstar poured in a season-high 51 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. He shot 15-of-23 from the field and 7-of-12 from behind the three-point line.
As for Rozier, he didn’t play nearly as well as his former teammate. Rozier, who was drafted by the Celtics in 2017 and spent the first four years of his career with them, only put up 14 points, three rebounds, and seven assists. He shot 6-of-17 from the floor and 1-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
Despite a late-game push by the Hornets, Tatum’s 51-point showing helped the Celtics earn a 130-118 victory in Charlotte. With the win, they extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference standings to 4.5 games.
LaMelo Ball Praises Jayson Tatum
Rozier isn’t the first player to praise Tatum in the past few days, though, and the other was his teammate, LaMelo Ball. Boston squared off against Charlotte for two games in a row on the road, earning wins in both.
After the first one, Ball revealed the two reasons he believes the Celtics were able to best them – second-chance opportunities and Tatum getting hot.
“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.
CJ McCollum Praises Celtics Depth
While Tatum is the unquestioned leader of the Celtics, one of the main reasons behind their success this season has been their ability to play well as a team. After a recent win over the New Orleans Pelicans, CJ McCollum name-dropped some Celtics role players, praising their impact.
“That’s a championship-caliber team; they’re battled tested. 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,” CJ McCollum said, “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.”