NEW ORLEANS — Point guard Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 22 points, including all four of his 3-point attempts, and the stifling Boston defense held New Orleans’ five starters to just 25 points to lift the Celtics to a 111-93 victory over the Pelicans Monday night at the Smoothie King Center.
The Celtics (12-9) led 53-44 at halftime, extended their lead to 81-67 at the end of three quarters and led by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter. The victory gave the Celtics a 3-2 record on their five-game road trip.
Reserve forward Kelly Olynyk had season-high 21 points and forward Jae Crowder added 17 for the Celtics, who held the Pelicans (5-16) to 41.1 percent shooting.
Center Jared Sullinger compiled a double-double — 11 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
New Orleans was led by reserve forward Ryan Anderson with 18 points and forward Anthony Davis with 16. The Celtics’ starting backcourt of Thomas and Avery Bradley outscored the New Orleans backcourt of Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans 33-0.
Thomas nailed a 3-pointer to give Boston a 67-51 lead midway through the third quarter. The Celtics trailed 42-40, but they used a 13-2 over the final 4:38 of the second quarter to take a 53-44 lead.
Thomas was the catalyst, hitting eight of nine shots from the field and scoring 19 first-half points, including 12 in a 28-19 second quarter. Thomas also had a steal to lead a Celtics fast break during their run.
Davis picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench with 6:25 left in the first quarter. He hit his first two jumpers and six of the Pelicans’ first seven points, but finished with just eight points in the half.
Anderson scored 14 points for New Orleans off the bench, and guard Jrue Holiday added 10 points and five assists.
NOTES: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he likes going with a small lineup for short periods but not as a steady diet. “The small lineup spaces the floor and gives you multiple drivers and shooters,” Stevens said. “It gives you the ability to switch. The difference between us and some others when they go small is we’re really small.” … Boston F David Lee, who missed the Saturday game with a right heel bruise, and G R.J. Hunter (hip flexor) both sat out Monday. “David got through the stretching and just didn’t feel right,” Stevens said. “R.J. got through the initial drills and just didn’t feel 100 percent.” … New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry is amazed at the perfect start posted by the Warriors, his former team. “The most intriguing thing about Golden State this year is that every single guy on that team came back a better player, which is hard to do,” Gentry said.
Spurs 119, 76ers 68
PHILADELPHIA — Center/forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 26 points as the San Antonio Spurs embarrassed the woeful Philadelphia 76ers 119-68 Monday night.
The Spurs rested forward/center Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili, and forward Kawhi Leonard did not play because of illness. San Antonio nonetheless shot a season-high 61.8 percent from the floor,and recorded 32 assists on a season-high-tying 46 field goals. The Spurs’ point total was also a season high, and they limited the Sixers to their season low.
It was so one-sided that Spurs backup center Boban Marjanovic, a seldom-used 7-foot-3 rookie from Serbia, saw extensive action, scoring a season-high 18 points in a little over 17 minutes. He began the night averaging 1.8 points a game, with a previous high of six.
Aldridge, who made 11 of 15 shots from the floor, also grabbed nine rebounds. Guard Tony Parker collected 12 points while playing only the first half for the Spurs, who improved to 18-4 with their eighth victory in nine games.
Forward Robert Covington, center Nerlens Noel and guard Nik Stauskas each scored 13 points to lead the Sixers. Philadelphia (1-21) lost its third straight since recording its lone victory.
Aldridge generated 20 points and nine boards in the first half, when San Antonio breezed to a 65-39 lead. The Spurs, who trailed briefly early in the game, broke it open by outscoring Philadelphia 21-4 over a six-minute span beginning late in the first quarter and ending early in the second.
Reserve forward David West had six points in that run, which stretched the San Antonio cushion from 21-15 to 42-19.
The Spurs shot a robust 64.3 percent and matched their highest point total for any half this season while limiting the Sixers to 30.8 percent accuracy. Covington had nine first-half points to pace Philadelphia.