From Brandon Ingram's thunderous jam to a trio of plays by Jayson Tatum as he took over the game and Aaron Nesmith's two-handed dunk through contact, here are the top five plays from the MLK Day matchup between the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans.
Brandon Ingram Rattles the Rim
That play highlights the work Brandon Ingram has done on his body. He'll never get mistaken for Mr. Olympia, but he's a lot stronger than he was when he entered the league. As a rookie, Ingram wouldn't have been able to muscle Grant Williams, stay the course, then elevate for the dunk.
Jayson Tatum Puts Jonas Valanciunas in a Blender
A high-ball screen from Enes Freedom forces Jonas Valanciunas to switch onto Jayson Tatum, signaling that the Pelicans are in trouble on this possession. The All-Star wing blows by New Orleans' big man, putting Valanciunas in the spin cycle and using his long strides to get to the cup for two points.
Jayson Tatum Gets the Hoop, Plus Tax
Tatum got going in the third quarter, but he seized control of the game in the final frame, scoring 12 points on 4/5 shooting, dishing out two of his three assists, and going 4/5 at the free-throw line, including the one he made that turned the layup shown above into a three-point play.
Tatum's Takeover Continues
Tatum's fourth-quarter takeover was the product of his play at both ends of the court. Here, with Freedom waiting for Devonte' Graham in the paint and Tatum on top of him, the Pelicans' point guard pivots to get the ball to Valanciunas, but he loses control of the rock. Tatum grabs it, takes off in transition, slows down, which allows the crowd noise to amplify as he builds momentum back up, and he throws down a thunderous one-handed jam to the delight of the home fans.
Aaron Nesmith's Two-Handed Dunk Through Contact
Once again, the Celtics turn defense into points at the other end. Freedom strips the ball from Ingram, Tatum pushes it up the floor and delivers a left-handed dime to Aaron Nesmith, who finishes a two-handed dunk through contact. He also converted the free throw to turn this into a three-point play.