JAYSON Tatum led all scorers with 41 points, Jaylen Brown added 30 and the Boston Celtics rallied to end the host Charlotte Hornets’ perfect start with a 140-129 overtime win on Monday night.
After Dennis Schröder tied it at 129 on a 3-pointer with 2:41 left in overtime, Brown added a trey of his own and followed it with an emphatic dunk at the 1:21 mark. Schröder added four consecutive free throws and Tatum made two to put the game away.
Tatum dished out a team-high eight assists while Brown grabbed nine rebounds. Schröder finished with 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Boston, which had dropped two in a row to open the season before a 107-97 win at Houston on Sunday.
Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball scored 25 apiece to lead the Hornets. Bridges, who was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week earlier on Monday, also grabbed 10 boards. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had 19 points, and former Celtics forward Gordon Hayward scored 15. Ball contributed nine assists.
Charlotte secured its best start in franchise history at 3-0 with a 111-95 win at Brooklyn on Sunday before losing on Monday.
Down by two at half time, the Hornets fell behind by six late in the third quarter before closing on an 11-2 run to lead 97-94 entering the fourth. Tatum’s 3-pointer at 10:35 of the fourth brought the Celtics within one before Charlotte opened a 12-point lead.
The Celtics erased the gap and went ahead 120-119 on a Robert Williams III alley-oop dunk with 1:42 remaining. Ball answered with a pull-up 3-pointer with 1:30 on the clock before Tatum tied it with a pair of free throws at the 1:11 mark.
Ball missed a step-back trey with 51.7 seconds left, and Boston’s Marcus Smart missed a 3-point attempt with 27.4 to go. After a time out, Smart stole the inbound pass from Hayward, and Boston called a time out with 8.2 seconds remaining.
Charlotte stripped the inbound pass, but was unable to get a shot off before the end of regulation.
Boston led 68-66 at half time. — Reuters