BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 35 points, Marcus Smart had 22 points and a career-high 15 assists and the Boston Celtics jumped to a 27-point, first-quarter lead and beat the Charlotte Hornets 140-105 on Monday night.
It was the ninth straight win at home and the 13th in 14 games for the reigning Eastern Conference champions, who have the best record in the NBA.
Malcolm Brogdon had 21 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Derrick White had 15 points and six assists. Blake Griffin scored a season-high nine points for Boston.
Jalen McDaniels scored 24 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 22 for the Hornets, who lost for the 12th time in 15 games.
The Celtics put this one away in the first quarter.
It was 19-12 when Boston scored 24 of the next 28 points, hitting six straight 3-pointers to pull ahead. Tatum had 16 points in the quarter, Smart had 10 points and eight assists and Brogdon scored 10. Boston shot 73% from the field, making 10 of 15 from 3-point range.
Charlotte missed all six 3-point attempts in the quarter.
Jaylen Brown missed the game with neck stiffness. He scored 36 points in Sunday’s game against the Wizards, which Tatum missed with a sprained left ankle.
Al Horford (lower back stiffness) also missed the game, the second of a back-to-back.
Hornets: Charlotte was without ex-Celtics Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier.
Celtics: Led by as many as 27 less than 10 minutes into the game. It tied for their second-biggest lead of the season. … Griffin made his third start of the season.
Hornets: Host Washington on Friday.
Celtics: Host the Heat on Wednesday night in the first of two games against Miami in Boston in three days.
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