Boston, sans Jaylen Brown, ended up defending its residence court docket in double time beyond regulation, knocking off a shorthanded Los Angeles squad, 141-133. The hero on the night was Jayson Tatum, who had maybe his finest all-around sport as an expert. The former No. three general choose scored 39 factors on 14-for-23 capturing and related on 5 of his ten makes an attempt from three. He additionally pulled down 9 boards and competed defensively, doing every thing the Celtics wanted him to do en path to a win.
The remainder of Boston’s beginning 5 got here up enormous alongside Tatum the group’s bench scored 19 factors on the night with Marcus Sensible offering a significant scoring punch (31 factors on 10-for-20 capturing) and Gordon Hayward recording a double-double (21 factors, 13 rebounds). Additionally, Kemba Walker in direction of the tip of a 19-point, 9-rebound, 7-assist night did this to Landry Shamet.
The Clippers, in the meantime, needed to play this sport with out Patrick Beverley and solely received 15 minutes of motion out of Paul George, who harm his hamstring within the first half and missed the rest of the sport. Fortuitously for them, the 2 stars of their bench mob got here up gigantic. Lou Williams stuffed the stat sheet in 44 minutes, recording 35 factors, eight rebounds, and 6 boards, whereas Montrezl Harrell was a menace, going for 24 factors and 13 rebounds. There have been additionally some heroics from Shamet, who canned a triple to power double time beyond regulation.
Nonetheless, the story of this sport was Tatum’s otherworldly efficiency, particularly when the opposite group got here into this sport with probably the greatest gamers on this planet. That participant, Kawhi Leonard, didn’t have his finest evening, which says extra about the usual to which he’s judged than something, as a result of he scored 28 factors on 10-for-27 capturing with 11 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, and a block. Plus in comparison with the monster evening we noticed out of Tatum, who seemed to be in whole management and fed of a raucous crowd in Beantown, it was nowhere close to sufficient.
Whereas profitable the one seed looks as if a little bit of a stretch with how good the Milwaukee Bucks have been, the Celtics have a professional shot on the No. 2 spot within the Jap Convention they’re 2.5 video games again of the Toronto Raptors following the win. Getting performances like this from Tatum on a nightly foundation in all probability isn’t tenable, however so long as he persistently performs like an All-Star, Boston’s going to have a shot at making some critical noise for the remainder of the common season and through the playoffs.