Celtics build lead, withstand Pelican's comeback bid
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Kyrie Irving had 26 points and 10 assists as the visiting Boston Celtics beat the New Orleans Pelicans 124-107 in a match-up of struggling teams Monday night.
Al Horford and Jayson Tatum added 20 points each, Marcus Morris had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Terry Rozier came off the bench to score 14 for the Celtics, who won for the second time in three games, but that followed a three-game losing streak.
Anthony Davis, returning from a one-game absence due to a hip injury, had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who lost their fourth straight, but it was just their second loss in 10 home games.
Nikola Mirotic scored 25, Julius Randle came off the bench to score 15, Jrue Holiday had 13 and Darius Miller came off the bench to score 11.
New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half and by nine at halftime, got within six early in the third quarter in a 3-pointer by E'Twaun Moore.
Morris made two 3-pointers during an 8-0 run that rebuilt Boston's lead to 67-53.
The Celtics went up by 20 again before the Pelicans finished the quarter with a push. Back-to-back baskets by Randle completed an 11-2 run that got New Orleans within 89-79 at the end of the period.
Davis scored five points as the Pelicans got within 93-87, but Horford answered with a 3-pointer.
Irving, Horford and Gordon Hayward each made a 3-pointer as the Celtics took a 105-93 lead.
New Orleans closed within seven, but Irving's 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 10 with four minutes remaining as the Celtics, who made 19 of 39 3-pointers, resumed command.
The Celtics rolled to a 22-9 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Pelicans committed eight turnovers that led to 11 Boston points, and Horford finished with 12 points as the Celtics took a 34-21 lead at the end of the period.
Boston built the lead to 20 before Mirotic got hot. He tied a franchise record with five 3-pointers in the second quarter, all of them during a 22-11 run that cut the Celtics lead to 57-48 at halftime.
--Field Level Media
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