NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 38 points, Jaylen Brown added 31 and the Boston Celtics beat the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 107-97 on Saturday night.
Robert Williams grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked four shots for Boston, which led by double digits for most of the game en route to a third victory in four games, with two of those triumphs coming on the road.
New Orleans undrafted rookie guard Jose Alvarado scored a career-best 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, going 3 of 4 from 3-point range. But the Pelicans were outshot by Boston 53.1% to 43.9% and lost their third straight.
For the second straight night, the Pelicans were done in by poor perimeter shooting.
Having missed 29 of 34 3-point shots in a loss to Denver on Friday night, the Pelicans made just two of 19 3s in the first half against Boston while falling behind by as many as 20 before halftime. New Orleans missed 24 of 32 3s for the game.
Tatum hit four 3s and scored many of his points on slashing drives and dunks, making 17 of 26 shots (65.4%) in all. Brown also hit four from deep and 11 of 20 shots overall. Josh Richardson added 10 points for Boston, which won comfortably despite attempting just 11 foul shots.
The Celtics raced to an early double-digit lead and kept it for most of the opening half. Tatum scored 11 points before the first five minutes had elapsed. When he left the game, Brown began pouring in points.
At halftime, Tatum and Brown alone were outscoring the Pelicans 38-34. The actual Boston lead was 52-34.
The largest Pelicans second-half comeback franchise history — 24 points — came against Boston in New Orleans last Feb. 21. On that night, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson combined for 61 points in a 120-115 overtime victory.
This time, Ingram missed his fourth straight game with a right ankle sprain. Williamson hasn't played at all this season because of his protracted recovery from surgery to repair a right foot fracture. New Orleans also played a third straight game without second-leading scorer and top rebounder Jonas Valanciunas (non-COVID illness).
Still, Alvarado helped the Pelicans rally to as close as 78-70 at the end of the third quarter before Boston pulled away again down the stretch.
Celtics: Tatum scored at least 30 in a game for the 16th time this season, while Brown did it for the 11th time. They both did it in the same game for the fourth time this season. ... Williams attempted a 3 for the first time this season. It missed off the rim as Celtics players on the bench rose to their feet hoping to celebrate for the Boston center.
Pelicans: Josh Hart had 10 points and 13 rebounds for his 11th double-double this season. ... Willy Hernangomez scored 14 points, Garrett Temple and Devonte' Graham each scored 12 points, and rookie Herb Jones added 11 points. ... Coach Willie Green successfully challenged a foul call against the Pelicans late in the third quarter. Officials overturned their reach-in call against Alvarado and ruled that the Pelicans guard cleanly stole the ball from Brown.
Celtics: Host Miami on Monday night in the first of two straight home games.
Pelicans: Visit Cleveland on Monday night to start a four-game road trip.
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