Tatum drops 51, Celtics knock off Hornets for 7th straight win

Jayson Tatum took over down the stretch, finishing with 17 points in the fourth quarter, and his Boston Celtics rolled to their seventh straight victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

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January 17, 2023 - 2:34 PM

Celtics star Jayson Tatum goes up for a dunk during the first half of Wednesday's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans at the TD Garden. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jayson Tatum knew he was sitting on 48 points entering the final minute of the Boston Celtics’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday and briefly thought about backing the ball out and letting the clock run down with the outcome well in hand.

Then he remembered a text from Jamal Crawford earlier this season after Tatum refused to take a late shot against the Miami Heat and finished the game with 49 points.

“Jamal texted me after the game and he’s like, ‘If you’re ever that close to 50, nobody is going to remember the time and score, they’re just going to report if you got 50 or not,’” Tatum said. “That’s what was going through my mind: Jamal telling me if you get that close to 50, go get it.”

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