The Celtics went into New Orleans and defeated the Pelicans 124-107 on Monday night.
With Jaylen Brown sidelined with a back bruise, the Celtics moved Marcus Smart into the starting lineup for the first time this season. Smart's presence on the floor appeared to give the Celtics a massive energy boost on both offense and defense and Brad Stevens must've felt the same way considering Smart played 40 minutes in the game. Smart shot 3/8 in the game and 2/5 from deep which is by no means excellent, but from Marcus Smart, it's a performance you will gladly take.
The 124 points are the most the Celtics have scored in a game this season and the 17-point margin of victory is their 4th largest win this season. The Celtics also made 19 3-pointers in the game, their 2nd highest total of the season. For whatever reason, their offense was clicking with Marcus Smart on the floor.
Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford all finished with 20+ points. It was the first time this season that the Celtics had 3 players finish with 20+ points. Marcus Morris finished just shy of making it 4 players with 20 or more in the game, finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds. For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis had another monster night with 27 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 block and right on the heels of rumors that Davis was open to a potential trade to the Celtics, a trade that wouldn't be able to happen until next offseason. The Celtics will match up with the Pelicans again very soon, December 10th in Boston.
"That's the team we know." Marcus Smart said after the game in response to how the Celtics played. "We had different guys diving on the floor, doing multiple things on the defensive end and we weren't stagnant on the offense end... that's how were supposed to play." Coach Stevens made no promises as far as the starting lineup was concerned and suggested the lineup will continue to change based on game to game matchups.
Photo: (Gerald Herbert - AP Photo)