Jayson Tatum put on a show as the Boston Celtics snapped their three-game losing streak with an emphatic 140-105 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at the TD Garden.
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Tatum only needed 31 minutes over three quarters to fill it up, shooting an efficient 16-of-22 from the field and 6-of-9 from the 3-point line, adding six rebounds, four assists and three steals on the night.
It was his fifth career game with at least 30 points and first 40-point game of his career, surpassing his previous career-high of 39 in November.
The Celtics raced out to a 41-24 lead after the first quarter, with Tatum setting the tone with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. It was more of the same in the second quarter as he finished with 22 points in the half to help the Celtics to a 72-57 lead.
The Celtics shot an efficient 52.7 percent from the field in the first half, with Tatum going 8-of-11.
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They refused to take their foot off the gas in the third quarter, using a 14-0 run to take a 110-71 lead, with Tatum scoring 10 of the 14 points in the run.
The Celtics extended the lead to as many as 37 points, outscoring the Pelicans in the period 42-27. Tatum finished with 19 points in the third.
"I just think he's gonna be ever-improving, he had a couple of finishes with good hands early in the game, I think he has the right attitude, attack," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Tatum.
"He's had a great year but I think he can get better"
While Tatum was the star of the show, he had plenty of help. Gordon Hayward added 19 points, Jaylen Brown 13 and Kemba Walker 17 points and seven assists.
Enes Kanter produced a monster performance inside with 22 points and 19 rebounds, connecting on 10-of-13 from the field. Boston out-rebounded New Orleans 53-43 and outscored them in the paint 74-42.
The Pelicans struggled to find their offensive rhythm, shooting just 40 percent from the field, while the Celtics connected on 55 percent of their shots, going 14-of-29 from 3 and tied their season-high for points.
Five Pelicans finished in double figures, led by 22 points off the bench from Frank Jackson. Jaxson Hayes added 20 points, Brandon Ingram 16, while Lonzo Ball and E'Twaun Moore scored 10 apiece.
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