Celtics rough up Hornets to cap road trip

Jayson Tatum scored 25 points, Sam Hauser sank seven 3-pointers off the bench and also finished with 25 points and the Boston Celtics completed a solid road trip by defeating the host Charlotte Hornets 118-104 on Monday night.

Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points for the NBA-leading Celtics (59-16), who went 4-2 on their last multi-game trip of the regular season. Derrick White provided 19 points and nine rebounds, and Al Horford chipped in with 15 points.

Boston made 19 shots from 3-point range to outscore the Hornets 57-39 from beyond the arc. The teams had similar percentages from deep (35.8 percent for Boston, 35.1 percent for Charlotte), but the Celtics launched 53 treys among their 89 field-goal attempts. Hauser was 7-for-11 on threes and 2-for-2 on 2-pointers.

Miles Bridges scored 26 points and Grant Williams, who was in the starting lineup, had 23 for Charlotte (18-57), which fell for the eighth time in nine games. Brandon Miller added 19 points and, despite dealing with a shoulder contusion, Vasilije Micic supplied 13 points and nine assists.

Tatum, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, went 9-for-19 from the field, draining four 3-pointers. Porzingis had seven boards and five assists.

The Celtics stretched a 59-53 halftime lead to 16 points in the third quarter on the way to avenging a November overtime loss in Charlotte. Things were tied at 53-all with 1:37 to go in the second quarter, but Tatum scored four points during a 6-0 Boston run to close the first half.

Bridges canned a pair of free throws to pull the Hornets within 72-64 with 7:33 remaining in the third, but the Celtics scored nine of the next 12 points to make it 81-67.

The visitors took a 95-79 advantage into the fourth, and Charlotte never threatened the rest of the way.

The Hornets limited Boston’s transition game, but it didn’t matter too much, as the Celtics leaned on their perimeter offense whenever they needed a boost.

Williams was in the Hornets’ starting lineup because center Nick Richards was out with a foot injury, making a team that has typically gone with small lineups even smaller. Williams went 10-for-16 from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds.

Charlotte struggled to establish its presence in the interior, getting outrebounded 51-40 and getting to the free-throw line just 11 times.

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