Celtics handle Pelicans, earn 6th straight win

Marcus Morris

(Field Level Media) Marcus Morris and Jayson Tatum combined to score 52 points as the short-handed Boston Celtics won their sixth game in a row by defeating the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 113-100 last night.

Morris scored 31 points and Tatum added 21 to lead the way while five Celtics sat out the game because of injury or illness, including Al Horford (knee), Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Gordon Hayward (illness).

Jaylen Brown scored 19, Semi Ojeleye had 11 and Terry Rozier added 10 for the Celtics. Despite the absences, the Boston reserves outscored their New Orleans counterparts 41-21.

Boston ‘s winning streak began with a 124-107 victory against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Nov. 26.

The Pelicans, who were concluding a back-to-back that began with a 116-108 victory at Detroit on Sunday, had injury issues of their own, though All-Star forward Anthony Davis showed no ill-effects from a hip injury that limited him to six points and 26 minutes against the Pistons.

Davis led New Orleans with 41 points — his fourth game with 40-plus points this season —

and Julius Randle chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds. E’Twaun Moore sat out because of a calf injury and Nikola Mirotic did not play in the second half because of an ankle injury. Point guard Elfrid Payton has been sidelined since last month because of finger surgery that will keep him out a few more weeks.

Since the first meeting with Boston two weeks ago, the Pelicans have alternated wins and losses for eight games.

The Celtics led this one by six at halftime (59-53) and Morris made three 3-pointers in a row to start the third quarter, giving Boston a 68-55 lead.

The lead grew to as many as 15 points on two occasions before New Orleans got within 83-72 at the end of the third quarter.  That was the closest the Pelicans would get as the Celtics led by as many as 22 points during the fourth quarter.

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