Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 41 points, Jaylen Brown added 30, including an emphatic dunk in overtime, and the Boston Celtics beat Charlotte 140-129 on Monday night, handing the Hornets their first loss of the season.
Dennis Schroder had nine of his 23 points in overtime, and Robert Williams added 12 points and 16 rebounds in a game that featured 28 lead changes.
Miles Bridges had 25 points and 10 rebounds and LaMelo Ball added 25 points on seven 3-pointers for the Hornets before fouling out in overtime. Kelly Oubre added 19 points for Charlotte (3-1), which was seeking its first 4-0 start in franchise history.
Both teams had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but had difficulty inbounding the ball, resulting in neither team getting a shot off in the game’s final 15 seconds.
Charlotte fell behind by four in overtime, but Ball canned a long 3 to give the Hornets with 3:25 left and then knocked down two free throws to push the lead to 3.
But it was all Celtics from there.
Schroder and Brown made back-to-back 3s and Brown emphatically dunked over Bridges after receiving a pass on a fast break from Tatum. Schroder was 4 of 4 from the foul line down the stretch to help seal the game.
Ball was impressive all night.
With the game tied at 75, he got Marcus Smart off balanced with a drive to the top of the key and stepped back to drain a 3, saluting as it went through the net. A few seconds later Ball corralled a defensive rebound and released a full-court baseball pass to Gordon Hayward for a layup.
The Celtics erased a 12-point fourth quarter lead as Brown started to heat up.
Boston would battle back to cut the lead to one with 2:03 remaining as Tatum drove the lane and Mason Plumlee was called for goaltending. Boston intentionally fouled Plumlee at the other end of the floor and he missed both free throws badly. Boston took the lead on a dunk by Williams with 1:47 left.
But Ball would answer with a 26-footer at the other end to give the Hornets back the lead. Tatum tied with two free throws with 1:11 left, setting up a frantic, although scoreless final minute of regulation.
Celtics: Attempted 50 3-pointers, making 19. … Boston’s Al Horford sat out with a left adductor strain. … Jabari Parker had 13 points.
Hornets: Charlotte played without Terry Rozier for the third time in four games because of a sprained ankle and forward P.J. Washington (knee) was also out. Coach James Borrego said before the game he does not know the extent of Washington’s injury, but added that he hopes it is nothing major.
Celtics: Host Washington on Wednesday night.
Hornets: Visit Orlando on Wednesday night.