CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 41 points, Jaylen Brown added 30, including an emphatic dunk in overtime, and the Boston Celtics beat Charlotte 140-129 on Monday night, handing the Charlotte Hornets their first loss of the season.
Dennis Schroder had nine of his 23 points in overtime, and Robert Williams added 12 points and 16 rebounds in a game that featured 28 lead changes.
”It just showed that we have some fight in us, some toughness,” Tatum said of the Celtics, who battled back from 12 points down in the fourth quarter. ”Whatever was going our way, wasn’t going our way, we had to figure it out.”
Miles Bridges had 25 points and 10 rebounds and LaMelo Ball added 25 points on seven 3-pointers for the Hornets before fouling out in overtime. Kelly Oubre added 19 points for Charlotte (3-1), which was denied its first 4-0 start in franchise history.
Both teams had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but had difficulty inbounding the ball resulting in neither team getting a shot off in the game’s final 15 seconds.
Charlotte fell behind by four in overtime before Ball canned a long 3 to give the Hornets with 3:25 left and then knocked down two free throws to push the lead to 3.
But it was all Celtics from there.
Schroder and Brown made back-to-back 3s and Brown added a powerful one-handed dunk over the athletic Bridges after receiving a pass on a fast break from Tatum.
Brown said he had to make up for a missed breakaway dunk in overtime against the New York Knicks last week that proved to be a turning point in the loss. He said he’d taken some teasing from teammates and wasn’t about to let it happen again.
”Miles is obviously one of the better athletes in the league so I knew if I tried to lay it up he was going to send it back to Boston,” Brown said. ”So I went up with bad intentions.”
Tatum called it a ”big time” dunk, and it appeared to suck the life out of the Hornets even though it was still a 5-point game with 1:21 left.
Schroder went 4 of 4 from the foul line down the stretch to help seal the win.
Both teams were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and Hornets coach James Borrego felt his team was ”gassed out” down the stretch.
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