Sam Hauser posts career bests of 30 points, 10 3-pointers as Celtics beat Wizards 130-104


WASHINGTON — Sam Hauser had career highs of 30 points and 10 3-pointers to help the short-handed Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 130-104 on Sunday night.

Jayson Tatum also scored 30 points with six 3-pointers as the NBA-leading Celtics hit 24 shots from beyond the arc in a game in which they never trailed despite missing three starters. Payton Pritchard had 14 points and 13 assists.

“That’s why we have that stay-ready group, frankly, for days like this,” Tatum said of playing less than full strength. “We can just plug in certain guys in certain positions and moments. And the expectation is that we don’t skip a beat.”

In the first of back-to-back games — with a game against Detroit on Monday — Derrick White (left hand sprain) and Jaylen Brown (right ankle sprain) joined Kristaps Porzingis (right hamstring strain) among the ranks of injured Boston players.

Tatum also had been questionable with an ankle issue entering Wednesday. Instead, he played his 31st consecutive game and Hauser made his 16th career start to power Boston to 81 points before halftime and a lead that reached 36 points in the third quarter.

“I loved his confidence, I loved his aggressiveness,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said of Hauser. “I loved how guys looked for him. He got his shots within the flow of our execution. And that’s the weapon that he is.”

Hauser shot 10 for 13 from long distance before departing midway through the third with an ankle injury. He was not available postgame.

“I haven’t heard anything,” Mazzulla said. “I know he was getting an X-ray after the game, so we’ll find out. I think it was cautionary X-rays.”

Boston went 17 for 28 from 3-point range in the first half. The Celtics shot 48% from beyond the arc despite removing their starters midway through the third quarter.

Jordan Poole scored 31 points for the NBA-worst Wizards, who were without four starters. Rookie Bilal Coulibaly sat out with a bruised right wrist.

Tatum scored 18 points in the first quarter as the Celtics built a 45-27 lead. It was the Celtics’ highest-scoring opening period of the season.

Tatum also provided the assists when Hauser tied his previous career best on his sixth 3-pointer with 6:29 left in the second and surpassed it three minutes later.

Hauser made three more 3s to open the second half, the last pushing Boston’s lead to 92-56 with 9:27 remaining in the third.

Before his exit, his teammates wanted him to aim for the Celtics’ record of 11 made 3s, owned by Marcus Smart, and the all-time NBA record of 14 made 3s set by Klay Thompson.

“I know Klay did it and it was pretty impressive,” Celtics forward Al Horford. “Us shooters, we know those records. … We’re very aware of it and were pulling for Sam.”

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host Detroit on Monday night.

Wizards: Host Houston on Tuesday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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