Tatum, NBA-best Celtics gear up with marquee showdown vs. West-leading Thunder with romp of Hornets

Published April 2, 2024, 12:00 PM ● NBA.com Philippines Staff

The Boston Celtics get a crack to register their first 60-win season since 2008-09 when they play the West-leading OKC Thunder on Thursday.

Jayson Tatum led the way for the league-leading Celtics anew with a 25-point double-double over the Hornets.

Jayson Tatum tallied 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Sam Hauser continued his hot-shooting and finished with 25, as the NBA-best Boston Celtics closed out their six-game road trip with a 118-104 win over the lowly Charlotte Hornets. 


 Boston (59-16), who played without All-Star Jaylen Brown, ended their season-long road trip at 4-2. The Celtics will play six of the final seven games at home and can clinch the best-league record overall if they beat the Thunder in what might be a potential Finals preview.

Tatum added four assists, two steals and four triples in 34 minutes in his 19th game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds this season, including this tough slam over the Hornets’ defense midway through the third frame.

The Hornets actually raced to a hot start, knocking down nine of their first 13 shots, which helped propel them to a 32-30 lead through the first quarter.


However, the Hornets couldn't sustain their good rhythm and went 0-of-8 from 3-point range in the second frame, enabling a 59-53 halftime deficit and going 2-8 in their last 10 games.


The win helped the Celtics, who already secured the East top spot, to further widen their gap with the second-running Milwaukee Bucks (47-27) to 11.5 games while the Hornets (18-57) stumbled on their third straight defeat.