Celtics-Pelicans: Derrick White dominates C’s win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics offense continued to make history in Friday night’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
A 40-point first quarter for the C’s included 10 3-pointers, tying a franchise record. New Orleans cut Boston’s 19-point lead to six in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics held on to win their ninth straight, 117-109.
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The Celtics finished the game 20-for-46 from 3-point range. Derrick White (26 points) and Al Horford (18 points) combined for 10 of them.
Jaylen Brown added three 3s of his own while scoring 27 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists, although he did turn the ball over seven times. Jayson Tatum also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 25 points (5-11 3-PT) and seven assists in a losing effort.
The Celtics will look to run their winning streak into double digits when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. They are three points off Friday’s win, which takes their record to a league-best 13-3.
Derrick White has his best game as a Celtic
For the second straight game, Derrick White filled in for Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.
White did it all for the C’s on Friday night. He was at the center of the team’s 3-point outburst, shooting 6-for-8 from long range in the win. His 26 points were just three shy of his regular-season career high, and he also came close to tying his career high with seven 3-pointers in a game.
“I love it when D-White is aggressive,” Jaylen Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin after the win. “It’s better for our team. He’s a really good player and when he finds that aggression, it makes the game easier for everybody else. That’s how D-White carried us tonight and we got a win.”
White also did his usual damage on the defensive end. He added two steals and two blocks to his impressive stat line, arguably his best game since joining the Celtics last February.
The Jays’ playmaking is on display
The Celtics had 28 assists on 41 goals scored. Stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum did their part to spread the wealth.
Brown had 27 points and 10 rebounds, but his seven assists were off the page. Although the 26-year-old struggled to take care of the ball (seven turnovers), he made up for his mistakes with his playmaking.
Brown’s passing has improved over the last few games. He had eight assists in the win over Denver and six against Oklahoma City before his seven on Friday. Those three games marked season-high assist totals.
It was another rough shooting night for Tatum, but he once again made his presence felt as a playmaker. The three-time All-Star’s stats in Friday’s win were nearly identical to Wednesday’s game in Atlanta, as he finished with 19 points (6-18 FG, 2-10 3-PT), 10 assists and seven boards.
Brown and Tatum’s assist numbers not only speak volumes for their playmaking abilities, but also show the impressive depth of this Celtics team. That’s a big reason they’re off to such a hot start.
Having Malcolm Brogdon back in the mix will be huge for this deep C’s team down the stretch, but the veteran point guard was left out in his return to the court.
After missing the last four games with a hamstring injury, Brogdon was just 1-of-8 from the floor. He had four rebounds and four assists, but was visibly rusty on both ends in his 18 minutes off the bench.
Better nights are definitely ahead for a talented player like Brogdon, so Friday’s games shouldn’t be too much of a concern. The most important thing for Brogdon will be staying healthy, something he has struggled to do throughout his NBA career.