What a game!
In a matchup featuring some of the league's brightest young stars, the New Orleans Pelicans completed the biggest comeback in franchise history after trailing by 24 points midway through the third quarter, roaring home to win 120-115 in overtime.
Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 33 points, while Zion Williamson was a handful in the paint, adding 28 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points and nine rebounds, including some big buckets down the stretch, but it wasn't enough as the Celtics dropped their sixth game from their past nine to fall to 15-15 on the season.
A comeback for the ages
The Pelicans trailed by as many as 24 points in the third quarter, before flipping the game on its head, scoring 50 points across the final 18 minutes to complete the biggest comeback in franchise history.
Meanwhile, for the Celtics, it was the biggest lead they've surrendered since coughing up a 28-point advantage to the LA Clippers in 2019.
Their 24-point comeback is the biggest come-from-behind victory in Pelicans history (including playoffs).- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 21, 2021
The Celtics are .500 or worse through 30 games of a season for the first time over the last 6 seasons. pic.twitter.com/Gs7hjoJ4FU
A renewed sense of urgency on the defensive end for New Orleans sparked its run and created plenty of easy buckets in transition, led by the lineup of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Ingram, Williamson and Nico Melli, whose spacing on the offensive end proved invaluable.
"You've got to have great respect for guys that do that," Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy said postgame. "Those guys help get you wins. The idea was we needed to get something that made room for Brandon and Zion on the floor."
The Pelicans entered tonight's game having lost five of their past six. A win of this magnitude could give them the jolt of confidence they've been searching for in recent weeks.
Ingram and Zion take over second half
The Pelicans' dynamic duo sparked their monster comeback, combining for 44 points in the second half and overtime period.
After a quiet first half, where Williamson was held to just four points thanks to some inspired defence from Tristan Thompson, the 20-year-old found his rhythm after the break, scoring 24 of his 28 points in the second half and OT, including the go-ahead bucket in the final seconds of regulation.
Zion Williamson is averaging 26.8 points on 65.9% shooting in February.- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 21, 2021
Only one other player have averaged 25+ PPG on 65+ FG% for a whole month (min 12 games) since 1983 - Charles Barkley. pic.twitter.com/pPYmCJGOAB
With the game in the balance in the extra period, Ingram, who scored a game-high 33 points, sealed the historic comeback with the go-ahead 3-pointer with just under 35 seconds remaining, before icing the win at the free-throw line.
INGRAM!!!! pic.twitter.com/FI6PPCP3eN- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 21, 2021
The Pelicans got solid contributions from two of their other young cornerstones as Ball chipped in 16 points, six rebounds and four assists on the night, while Hart added 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Tatum not shy of the big moments
The Celtics fell behind twice in the final seconds of regulation, and it was Tatum who had the answers.
His stepback jumper gave them a 106-105 lead with 11.5 seconds to go and his driving floater over Hart sent the game to OT with just 0.2 on the clock.
Tatum is now ninth in the league in total clutch points , coming on 42.5 percent shooting from the field.
Ice in his veins 🧊 pic.twitter.com/DtKlpniMh8- Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 21, 2021
Tatum finished with 32 points on 10-of-24 shooting, 3-of-7 from 3-point range and 9-of-13 from the free-throw line.
It was a tough night for Jaylen Brown shooting the ball, going just 7-of-23 from the field for his 25 points, but the 24-year-old continues to find ways to impact the game when his shot isn't falling. Tonight he recorded nine assists, one shy of his season-high.
None better than this lob to Robert Williams:
TIMELORD 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/Vn8zDq39vj- Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 21, 2021
The Celtics, (15-15) will look to get back in the win column when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday (E.T.), while the Pelicans (13-17) host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday (E.T.).
The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.