Boston Celtics become the first team in NBA to reach 30 wins with victory over New Orleans Pelicans



The Boston Celtics became the first team in the NBA this season to reach 30 wins after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 125-114 at Boston’s TD Garden on Wednesday night, largely behind a combined 72 points from the team’s stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Brown scored a season-high 41 points and had 12 rebounds, while Tatum had 31 points and 10 rebounds as the Celtics won their fourth straight game.

Brown specifically attacked the Pelicans from mid range, crediting the extra muscle added in the off-season to his ability to handle contact with larger opponents as he makes a concerted effort not to settle for attempts from deep.

“I think I can get to the rim at a good rate this year,” Brown told reporters afterward, according to the Celtics website. “I definitely want to keep that up.

“I don’t want to upset the defense, but I feel good about a lot of the shots I’ve made out of three. Some of them went down, some didn’t. But I definitely still think I’m going to be looking at the basket a lot more for the rest of the year.

Celtics forward Al Horford echoed the point: “When (Brown) drives, I feel like people feel it.

“If he hits you while he’s driving, that’s real. So it’s good to see him playing at that level and to have made his decision that he’s going to attack the paint.”

It was Brown’s sixth career 40-point game, passing Sam Jones and Isaiah Thomas for sixth in Celtics history.

Along with Tatum, the two wingers have become the driving force behind Boston’s recent success.

The team reached the NBA Finals last season, eventually lost to the Golden State Warriors and is once again one of the best in the league this year.

By scoring at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in the same game in both, Brown and Tatum became the first Celtics players to reach that stat line since Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker in 2001.

Drafted a year apart – Brown was drafted with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft and Tatum was selected with the No. 3 pick in 2017 – they’ve built an understanding together about parsing defenses.

“They continue to grow before our eyes,” Horford said after the victory over the star duo. “They feed on each other, and that’s what really drives our team.”

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