WASHINGTON: Jayson Tatum scored 37 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Wednesday to spark the NBA-leading Boston Celtics to a 125-112 victory over visiting Dallas despite 42 points from Luka Doncic. The Celtics, whose nine-game win streak was snapped Monday at Chicago, bounced back by dominating the Mavericks, improving to 7-1 in Boston and an NBA-best 14-4 overall.
“I think we were locked in from the beginning,” Tatum said. “Losing to Chicago made us regroup and refocus. “We just knew they were a really talented team. Luka is the head of the snake. It was good to come home and get back in the win column.” It was Tatum’s 10th career game with 35 points and 10 rebounds. He made 11-of-24 from the floor and 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
In a showdown of early season NBA Most Valuable Player candidates, league scoring leader Doncic countered with a game-high point total on 17-of-28 shooting and five-of-9 from the line. The Slovenian guard also had nine assists and eight rebounds. “Everybody knows how talented and special he is,” Tatum said. “He can do so many things on the court. He’s somebody I respect and like competing against.”
The Celtics led 70-49 at halftime and by double figures from late in the first quarter until Doncic sparked a late rally to pull Dallas within 114-105 with 3:43 remaining. Al Horford answered with a 3-pointer to ignite a 10-2 Boston run and Dallas never came within 13 again. The Sacramento Kings saw their seven-game win streak snapped as Trae Young scored 35 points to lead the host Atlanta Hawks to a 115-106 victory. Domantas Sabonis had 15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to spark Sacramento (10-7). Clint Capela pulled down 14 rebounds for the Hawks (11-7).
Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over Portland 114-96 and stretch their win streak to four games. The Cavs improved to 8-1 at home and 12-6 overall as Darius Garland had 24 points and 12 assists while Jarrett Allen added 24 points and 13 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and added eight assists to lead the Chicago Bulls over host Milwaukee 118-113, dropping the Bucks to 12-5 despite 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
T-Wolves defeat Pacers
Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists while Rudy Gobert contributed 21 points and 16 rebounds in Minnesota’s 115-101 victory at Indiana. Myles Turner scored a game-high 31 points for the Pacers, whose five-game win streak ended. Zion Williamson scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a 129-110 victory at San Antonio. He shot 14-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-8 from the free throw line.
The Brooklyn Nets, humbled by a loss Tuesday to a Philadelphia team lacking three top starters, bounced back by winning at Toronto 112-98. Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton each added 14 points and Kevin Durant had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Brooklyn.
The Denver Nuggets rallied from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to win in overtime at Oklahoma City 131-126. Nikola Jokic had a game-high 39 points plus 10 rebounds and nine assists for Denver and sank two clinching free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining in overtime. Bruce Brown had a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets while Aaron Gordon had 30 points for Denver. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points.
Terry Rozier scored 22 points and PJ Washington added 19 to spark the Charlotte Hornets over visiting Philadelphia 107-101. At Miami, Kyle Lowry scored 28 points and Caleb Martin had 24 to power the host Heat over Washington 113-105. Kyle Kuzma had a game-high 33 points for the Wizards. Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points to lead Detroit over host Utah 125-116 while Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 31 to lead the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 124-107. – AFP