NBA ROUNDUP: Jayson Tatum flourishes with another strong performance as Celtics DEMOLISH Nets, while Fred VanVleet’s triple-double can’t fuel win for Raptors team surrounded by trade rumors
- James Harden finished one assist shy of a triple-double in the win over Orlando
- Ja Morant was denied a third consecutive triple-double in the loss to Portland
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Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and had nine rebounds and the Boston Celtics rolled to a 139-96 win over the short-handed Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Jaylen Brown added 26 points as both of Boston´s stars knocked down seven 3-pointers in a game the Celtics never trailed and led by as many as 49 points. Boston dominated on both ends of the floor, shooting 60% through three quarters on the way to its largest victory of the season.
‘You can tell we were ready to go from the jump,’ Tatum said.
It marked the eighth time this season Tatum and Brown have each scored at least 25 points in the same game.
Robert Williams finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in his return from a sprained ankle. Derrick White added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets’ Royce O’Neale
‘They’re hungry,’ Williams said of Tatum and Brown. ‘They’re still (upset) about last year.’
The NBA-leading Celtics have won all three meetings with the Nets this season.
Tatum began the night second in the NBA while averaging 37.5 minutes per game. He played just over 29 on Wednesday and was able to sit most of the fourth quarter. Coach Joe Mazzulla said it was nice to get him some rest, but isn’t concerned about the load he has carried so far.
Tatum credits team trainer Nick Sang and the conversations they had since last season for helping him maintain his body this season.
‘I feel great,’ Tatum said. ‘My body feels so much better at this time than it did last season.’
Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and Cam Thomas added 19 for Brooklyn, which struggled throughout while shooting 41%, including 9 of 39 beyond the arc. The Nets dropped to 4-7 since Kevin Durant sprained his right knee on Jan. 8.
‘It’s clear as day that they want to win the championship, and they’re not wasting any time in the regular season,’ Irving said. ‘Tonight I felt like we were just one of those teams in the way, and you know, we just can’t be one of those teams in the way. We’ve got to be one of those teams that stands up to them.’
Brooklyn had managed to keep pace with Boston in the standings without Durant and through recent injuries to Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and T.J. Warren (left shin contusion), who both sat for the third straight game.
Jayson Tatum (0) tosses up a pass while surrounded by the Brooklyn Nets during the first half
The Celtics had their entire rotation available except for Marcus Smart, sidelined for the fifth straight game as he recovers from his sprained right ankle. Boston took advantage, racing to a 33-7 advantage as the Nets started just 2 of 14 from the field.
Irving missed four of his first five shots as Boston´s crowd booed whenever he touched the basketball, mirroring the treatment he received during his most recent visits to TD Garden.
Tatum finished the quarter with 18 points, single-handedly outscoring the Nets as Boston took a 46-16 edge into the second quarter. The 30-point, first-quarter lead marked the first time in franchise history Boston outscored its opponent by 30 in the opening period.
The Celtics led 79-45 at halftime.
‘This was a night where they hit first, they hit hard and it hurt,’ Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said.
Tatum, #0 of the Boston Celtics, pictured on the court in the game against the Brooklyn Nets
JAZZ 131, RAPTORS 128
Lauri Markkanen had 28 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Conley added a three-point play and two clutch free throws in the closing minutes to lift Utah past Toronto.
Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, and Conley had 19 points and eight assists.
Toronto´s Fred VanVleet had his second career triple-double with 34 points, 10 assists and a career-best 12 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors shoots during the first half against the Utah Jazz
76ERS 105, MAGIC 94
Joel Embiid had 28 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden added 26 points and 10 assists and Philadelphia beat Orlando.
The Sixers split the home-and-home set this week with Orlando. The Magic stormed back from a 21-point, first-quarter deficit to beat the 76ers 119-109 on Monday night. That loss ended the 76ers´ seven-game winning streak.
Embiid, the NBA scoring leader, made all 10 of his free throws and was 9-of-17 shooting overall.
Markelle Fultz led Orlando with 18 points.
James Harden #1 shoots a lay up between Paolo Banchero #5 and Markelle Fultz #20
TIMBERWOLVES 119, WARRIORS 114, OT
D´Angelo Russell scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards took over in overtime after Russell fouled out and Minnesota outlasted Golden State.
After a scoreless fourth quarter, Edwards was aggressive in overtime, driving to the basket and scoring in traffic on multiple possessions. Edwards helped the Timberwolves – who trailed by 11 after three – complete the comeback. He scored just four of his 27 points in overtime but was the catalyst in the extra session.
Stephen Curry had 29 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State. Jordan Poole added 18 points, and Draymond Green had 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Warriors had won three in a row.
Anthony Edwards (1) shoots and scores a basket against Warriors Andrew Wiggins (22)
TRAIL BLAZERS 122, GRIZZLIES 112
Damian Lillard had 42 points and 10 assists, Anfernee Simons added 26 points and Portland Trail rallied to beat Memphis.
Jerami Grant had 18 points in the first half, before leaving because of concussion symptoms. Portland outscored Memphis 38-22 in the fourth quarter to win for the fourth time in five games.
Ja Morant had 32 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds for Memphis.
Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (0) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies Xavier Tillman (2)
KINGS 119, SPURS 109
Domantas Sabonis scored a season-high 34 points and had 11 rebounds and Sacramento handed San Antonio its seventh straight loss.
De´Aaron Fox added 31 points for Sacramento. The Kings have won two straight and nine of 12.
Rookie Malaki Branham had a season-high 22 points for San Antonio. The Spurs have lost 12 of 12.
Kings’ Domantas Sabonis, drives between San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl and Jeremy Sochan
ROCKETS 112, THUNDER 106
Eric Gordon had a season-high 25 points and rookie Tari Eason added career-high 20 and matched his career high with 13 rebounds to help Houston beat Oklahoma City.
The Rockets (13-38), who have the worst record in the Western Conference, have won three of their last five games after dropping 18 of the previous 19.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points for Oklahoma City.
Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) passes as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jaylin Williams (6)
HAWKS 132, SUNS 100
Dejounte Murray scored 21 points, Trae Young added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks rolled past the Phoenix Suns 132-100 on Wednesday night.
The Hawks never trailed, jumping to a 9-4 lead with three 3-pointers. Atlanta never let up, pushing to a 102-67 advantage by the end of the third quarter and leading by 43 points in the fourth.
Just about everyone was hitting shots for the Hawks, who made 52 of 91 shots (57.1%), including 19 of 33 (57.6%) on 3-pointers. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points off the bench.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dunks behind Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul
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