Forward Jayson Tatum had an exemplary night on the court, scoring 34 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out six assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 111-99 NBA victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
Tatum, a forward chosen for the All-Star Game, was a little slow in the first quarter, but he got up little by little and already in the third quarter he had several baskets, including three three-pointers.
However, the star player scored 18 points and his Celtics took an 18-unit lead (90-72) in the third quarter.
Although the Pistons won the last quarter, the Celtics’ advantage ended up being 12 points (111-99).
With Tatum on the bench, Detroit rallied to get within seven midway through the fourth quarter. Seconds after entering the game, Tatum pressed to help stave off the potential comeback.
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, who averages 27 points, missed the game with an illness. Sam Hauser filled in, making his first start in two seasons, and had five three-pointers (15 points) in the first half when he scored all of his 15 points.
Boston reserves Marcus Smart and Luke Kornet missed the game with ankle injuries.
However, fellow reserves Derrick White had 23 points and Malcolm Brogdon 15 for the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics, who had lost four of their previous six games.
– Nets squander points from Thomas –
In New York, the Brooklyn Nets were unable to take advantage of 47 points from Cameron Thomas and lost 124-116 to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Los Angeles quintet did take advantage of the performance of Paul George, who finished with 29 points, followed by Kawhi Leonard with 24 and Bosnian center Ivica Zubac with 19 points and 12 rebounds in the rebounding battle.
In Salt Lake City, the Dallas Mavericks, despite not having the Slovenian star Luka Doncic, subdued the Utah Jazz 124-111, in addition to welcoming Kyrie Irving.
Basket guards Josh Green and Jaden Hardy each scored 29 points, the latter coming off the bench for Dallas.
Prior to the game, the Mavericks welcomed back star Irving following the blockbuster trade deal between the Texans and the Brooklyn Nets.
Days after the controversial point guard requested a move before the league’s trade deadline on Thursday, both clubs tweeted confirmation of the transfer following team physicals.
The Mavericks tweeted “Welcome to Dallas” messages to Irving and Markieff Morris, who came from the Nets in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, who received a similar social media greeting in Brooklyn.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers were among several clubs linked to Irving after his transfer request was made public, reportedly after failing to reach an agreement on terms of a long-term contract extension.
Irving, who won an NBA crown with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, averaged 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game this season and carried Brooklyn’s scoring load at times while a knee injury sidelined star Kevin Durant.
Irving’s four seasons in Brooklyn brought headaches. He missed dozens of games last season after refusing to get the covid-19 vaccine.
This season, he was suspended for eight games after a social media post that referenced a movie containing anti-Semitic themes and initially refused to apologize.
– Monday’s NBA scores:
Boston to Detroit 111-99
LA Clippers to Brooklyn 124-116
Sacramento to Houston 140-120
Cleveland at Washington 114-91
Chicago at San Antonio 128-104
Dallas to Utah 124-111
Golden State to Oklahoma City 141-114
Milwaukee to Portland 127-108
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.