Celtics-Pelicans takeaways: The Jays carry C's in bounce-back win


The Boston Celtics dominated the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night for their third convincing win in their last four games.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge with 38 and 31 points, respectively. While they took care of the scoring, Robert Williams was a force on the boards with 16 rebounds. Marcus Smart continued to shine as a playmaker with 12 assists.

Jose Alvarado led New Orleans with 19 points off the bench. All five of the Pelicans' starters scored in double figures in the losing effort.

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Here are our instant takeaways from the Celtics' 107-97 win, which brings them to 26-25 on the season. They'll head back to Boston to host the Miami Heat on Monday night.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown carry the load

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown regained form after Friday's rough outing vs. Atlanta. The All-Star tandem combined for 23 of the Celtics' 27 first-quarter points in New Orleans, and that would be a trend for the remainder of the game.

The Jays put the team on their back with 69 of their 107 points. Tatum finished with 38 points on 17-of-26 shooting with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

Brown tallied 31 points (11-20 FG), three assists, and one ankle-breaking move on Pelicans forward Naji Marshall.

The next highest scorer for the C's was Josh Richardson with 10 points off the bench.

It's the fourth game this season and the eighth overall in which Tatum and Brown have scored 30+ points each. They previously accomplished the feat in Tuesday's blowout win over the Sacramento Kings.

Robert Williams remains invaluable

It's safe to say the Celtics won't be looking to part ways with Robert Williams ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline. The C's big man has only gotten better with each game this season, and he demonstrated his value again on Saturday night.

Williams notched 16 rebounds to mark his 20th straight game with seven or more boards. That's the longest such streak by a Celtic since Antoine Walker accomplished the feat in 1998. His career-high for rebounds is 17, set in Tuesday's win over Sacramento. He's had 10 or more rebounds in six of his last eight games.

Time Lord had eight points and four assists in the win over New Orleans, and he shined again defensively with four blocks and a steal.

Williams topped off his stellar night by setting a Celtics single-season record through only 40 games played. He logged his 95th dunk of the campaign, topping Brandon Bass' previous franchise record set in 2014-15.

Marcus Smart answering Celtics' point guard questions

No Celtics player has heard their name mentioned more ahead of the trade deadline than Marcus Smart. But in his last four games since returning to the lineup, the veteran point guard has made a statement.

Smart continued to look sharp as a facilitator with a season-high 12 assists. The performance backed up his recent comments directed at critics of his playmaking ability.

It's becoming clear that the C's can make it work with Smart as their starting point guard this season. When he's focused on facilitating and defending, Boston has been at its best.

Smart once again led the Celtics with a +28. Over his last four games, the longest-tenured Celtic is a +93 and the team is 3-1.

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