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Celtics-Wizards takeaways: Hauser leads C's in historic night from 3

Three Key Storylines

The short-handed Boston Celtics celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a wire-to-wire win over the Washington Wizards.

Even without Jaylen Brown (right ankle sprain), Derrick White (left hand sprain), or Kristaps Porzingis (right hamstring strain), the C’s asserted their dominance over the last-place team in the Eastern Conference. They erupted for a season-high 45 first-quarter points, marking the 13th time they’ve scored at least 30 in the opening frame in their last 14 games.

They dropped a whopping 81 first-half points and led by as many as 36 in their 130-104 victory. They have now held a 20-point lead in 12 of their last 14 games.

Sam Hauser and Jayson Tatum scored 30 points each while shooting a combined 16-for-25 from 3-point range. Payton Pritchard helped run the Celtics’ efficient offense with 14 points and a career-high 13 assists off the bench for his first double-double of the season.

Jordan Poole racked up a game-high 31 points in a losing effort for Washington.

Boston (53-14) will head back home to host the Detroit Pistons (12-55) for the second night of a back-to-back on Monday. The 7:30 p.m. ET matchup will feature an all-female broadcast on NBC Sports Boston to commemorate Women’s Empowerment Month.

First, here are three takeaways from Sunday’s action.

Sam Hauser puts on a show

Hauser earned his eighth start of the season and made every minute count. The Celtics sharpshooter was unguardable from beyond the arc.

He tied a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a half by going 7-for-9 through the first two frames. His 21 first-half points marked a career-high, but he wasn’t finished…

Hauser picked up where he left off with three quick 3-pointers to start the third quarter. He became the third player in C’s history to log at least 10 3-point makes in a game, joining Jaylen Brown (10) and the franchise record-holder Marcus Smart (11).

He almost certainly would have broken or at least tied Smart’s record had it not been for an injury he suffered on his 13th 3-point attempt. Hauser sprained his left ankle while stepping on a foot on the sideline and immediately exited to the locker room. He missed the remainder of the game.

According to Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow, Hauser played the fewest minutes (22:49) in a game with 10 made 3s in NBA history. He finished with a career-high 30 points while notching six rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

The extent of Hauser’s injury is unclear at this time. Regardless, it seems unlikely he’ll suit up for the second night of a back-to-back Monday vs. the Detroit Pistons.

No answer for Jayson Tatum

Tatum was the tone-setter in Boston’s blowout win. The five-time All-Star erupted for 18 points in the first quarter, the most he’s scored in an opening frame this season. He capped off the quarter with a buzzer-beater from deep:

Tatum’s performance to begin Sunday’s game continued a trend. In his last three first quarters, he scored 15 vs. the Utah Jazz, 14 against the Phoenix Suns, and 18 on Washington.

During a road game where MVP chants rained down on him at the free-throw line, Tatum treated the crowd to 30 points in 27 minutes with six made 3s on 12 attempts. He added six rebounds, six assists, three steals, and a block in an all-around dominant outing.

With another lowly opponent in the Pistons up next, Tatum may have earned himself a night off. Considering how the C’s performed Sunday without three key starters — and Tatum for most of the second half — it couldn’t hurt to give him some rest on Monday night.

C’s make history from 3

Hauser and Tatum helped the Celtics make history from 3-point range.

Boston exploded for 17 made 3s in the first half, a new franchise record. With 24 total made 3-pointers on the night, it became the second NBA team ever to make 20 or more shots from deep in three consecutive games. According to Celtics Stats on X, it’s also the first team in NBA history to make at least 24 3-pointers in back-to-back games.

The Celtics’ record for 3-pointers in a game remains 27, set against the New York Knicks on Nov. 5, 2022. They came just five 3s away from the all-time NBA record of 29, achieved by the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 29, 2020.

Joining Hauser and Tatum in the 3-point barrage were Pritchard (2-5), Svi Mykhailiuk (3-6), Al Horford (2-4), and Jrue Holiday (1-2). The C’s ended up 24-of-50 from beyond the arc, and it’s fair to wonder whether both the individual 3-point record (14, Klay Thompson) and team record (29) would have been broken if Hauser and Tatum played the whole game.

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