NBA: Celtics dump Nuggets to win fifth in a row
Jayson Tatum had 34 points and eight rebounds, Jaylen Brown scored 25 points and added eight assists, and the host Boston Celtics beat the Denver Nuggets 131-112 on Friday night.
Al Horford had 21 points, Grant Williams added 13 and Derrick White finished with 10 for Boston, which has won five straight.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 29 points, Aaron Gordon had 17, Bruce Brown had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 and Jamal Murray added 14 points and 10 assists.
Denver played without guard Bones Hyland, who was out due to health and safety protocols.
The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter with hot shooting. Boston hit 60.9 percent of its field goals to lead by as many as 13 points.
Payton Pritchard’s hustle plays helped push us to a 131-112 finish over the Nuggets to extend our win streak to five. pic.twitter.com/uqxRb80GfJ
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 12, 2022
The Celtics stretched the lead to 49-34 midway through the second quarter on consecutive 3-pointers by White and Tatum. Another 3-pointer by White a few minutes later gave Boston a 58-40 lead.
Bruce Brown and Caldwell-Pope hit 3-pointers and Jokic scored four points in a 12-2 run that got the Nuggets within 60-52, and they went into intermission down 66-57.
The lead increased to 13 on a floating jumper from Jaylen Brown before Denver chipped away. Jeff Green converted a three-point play, Caldwell-Pope hit three from behind the arc and Murray also drained a 3-pointer that got the Nuggets within six.
It was 88-87 late in the third when the Celtics closed the quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 97-91 lead into the fourth. They built the lead back to 12 on three free throws from Tatum, and after Jokic missed twice, Horford made two 3-pointers to make it 111-95 with 8:26 left.
Denver made six free throws around a bucket from Tatum, but Williams hit Boston’s 14th 3-pointer to make it 116-101 with 5:38 left.
The Nuggets made another push, getting within nine on a jumper by Murray, but Jaylen Brown hit another 3-pointer to spark an 11-2 run that put it away.