In a thrilling Saturday night matchup, the Boston Celtics secured a 124-112 win over the Brooklyn Nets, thanks to a standout performance by Jayson Tatum. Tatum scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, displaying his prowess on both ends of the court. However, it was his milestone achievement in the second quarter that added a historic touch to the game.
Tatum reached the 10,000th career point mark during the game, becoming the youngest player in Celtics’ franchise history to accomplish this feat. The previous record holder, Antoine Walker, achieved this milestone at the age of 26.
Tatum wasn’t alone in carrying the Celtics to victory, as five players finished in double-figure scoring. Jaylen Brown contributed 23 points, while Kristaps Porzingis added 22, and Jrue Holiday recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists. Luke Kornet provided an additional offensive boost with 11 points coming off the bench.
Reflecting on the team’s success, Tatum noted, “We have depth and we’re extremely talented from top-to-bottom. What’s special about this group is we’ve got some really good guys and we got some guys (who) really just compete. Guys (who) want to win.”
On the other side of the court, the Brooklyn Nets faced a challenging contest, playing their second game in as many days. Despite the effort, they dropped to a 3-3 record for the season.
Cam Thomas led the Nets with 27 points, while Spencer Dinwiddie and Mikal Bridges contributed 19 points each. Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in with 14 points, and Lonnie Walker IV and Day’Ron Sharpe scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, coming off the bench.
The Celtics controlled the game for most of the night, leading 70-58 at halftime. However, they faced a strong pushback from the Nets, who outscored Boston 30-21 in the third quarter, cutting the lead to just three points entering the final quarter.
Kristaps Porzingis recognized the importance of winning such games, stating, “We (have) to win these games. We were not having our best nights, and we did that.”
The Nets made a late surge, closing the deficit to one point, 96-95, on Dennis Smith Jr.’s three-pointer with 7:47 left in the game. However, the Celtics responded promptly with a 14-4 run over a two-minute span, led by Tatum’s nine points in that stretch.
Coach Joe Mazzulla praised his team, saying, “Our guys continued to play hard.”
Brooklyn made one last effort, cutting the lead to 110-102 with a Mikal Bridges three-pointer, but Boston held firm. An Al Horford bucket and a Kristaps Porzingis free throw extended the lead to 113-102, ultimately securing the win.
The Nets faced additional challenges as they were without key players, including starting center Nic Claxton and starting power forward Cameron Johnson, who missed their fifth consecutive games due to injuries. Starting point guard Ben Simmons also sat out, citing back injury maintenance.
Nets’ coach Jacques Vaughn commented on Simmons’ absence, noting, “Just assessing where we are this time of the season. With the back-to-back — not saying that this will continue — but the maintenance is part of his progression right now for this part of the season.”
Despite missing three-fifths of their regular starting lineup, the Nets persevered. Vaughn started Dinwiddie, Thomas, Bridges, Royce O’Neale, and Finney-Smith. According to the Nets, this marked their fourth different starting lineup in six games this season.
It was an unfortunate night for Boston guard Derrick White, who missed the game for personal reasons, but his absence did not hinder the Celtics’ strong performance and victory.