The Boston Celtics achieved a milestone in the NBA by becoming the first team this season to win 30 games. They achieved this by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 125-114 at TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday night, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way with a combined 72 points.
Brown set a new season record with 41 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds, while Tatum also had a strong performance with 31 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Celtics to their fourth consecutive victory.
Brown specifically targeted the Pelicans with his mid-range shots, attributing his added strength from the offseason to his ability to handle physicality from larger players. He is determined to avoid settling for long-range shots.
“I believe I can consistently reach the basket this season,” Brown told journalists after the game, according to the Celtics website. “I am determined to maintain that level of performance.”
“I am not excusing the defense, but I am satisfied with many of the three-point shots I took. Some were successful, while others were not. However, I am determined to focus on driving to the basket more for the rest of the year.”
Al Horford, a player for the Celtics, restated the fact that when Brown makes a drive, he believes others can sense it.
“When he’s actively driving and making shots, it’s a true display of skill. It’s satisfying to witness him perform at such a high level and have the determination to consistently drive towards the basket.”
This was Brown’s sixth time scoring 40 points in a game, which puts him ahead of Sam Jones and Isaiah Thomas for the sixth-highest number of 40-point games in Celtics history.
Tatum and the two wing players have been the primary driving force behind Boston’s recent achievements.
Last season, the team made it to the NBA Finals but ultimately lost to the Golden State Warriors. This year, they continue to be one of the top teams in the league.
Brown and Tatum both achieved the rare feat of scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the same game. This is the first time that two Celtics players have accomplished this since Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker did so in 2001.
Selected one year apart, Brown was drafted as the third pick in the 2016 draft and Tatum was chosen as the third pick in 2017. Through their time playing together, they have developed a strong understanding of how to break down opposing defenses.
Al Horford commented on the star pair’s growth, saying, “We can see them improving every day. They have a great dynamic and that motivates our team.”