NBA: Jayson Tatum’s triple-double leads Celtics past Mavericks
Jayson Tatum posted a triple-double with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to propel the NBA-leading Boston Celtics to a 124-95 win over the host Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Tatum scored 18 and Jaylen Brown added 15 of his 19 in the second half as Boston snapped a two-game losing streak. Tatum recorded his only previous triple-double on April 19, 2021, in a loss to the Chicago Bulls.
“It was a tough one the other day,” Tatum said in an on-court post-game interview of the Celtics’ loss to the lowly Thunder in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
“We lost two in a row but we had a responsibility just to respond, to play better. That last two games hasn’t defined our season.
“We’re one of the best teams and we just had to come out and play like it and get back to playing like we know how.”
Four other Celtics finished in double figures, including Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon, who added 15 apiece.
Luka Doncic scored 23 points, Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 and Christian Wood had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double for Dallas, which had its seven-game win streak end.
All but three of Doncic’s points came in the opening half.
Tatum said the Celtics defensive strategy on Doncic was to “just try and make it tough for him.
“He’s obviously a hell of a player that can get any shot he wants.”
Dallas erased Boston’s 5-0 start with a 9-2 run and took a 9-7 lead on Dinwiddie’s running dunk with 6:50 left in the first quarter.
The Celtics sprinted ahead thereafter, as a Grant Williams triple began his personal five-point stretch and an extended 15-3 team run.
Have a night, Jayson Tatum ☘️ pic.twitter.com/zt4WOb6adE
— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2023
It was 29-20 at the end of the first quarter — a margin that could have been greater if not for Dallas’ 9-of-12 effort at the free-throw line. Doncic, who finished an 11-point quarter with a floater and two free throws in the last minute, was 5 of 7 at the line.
Brogdon’s three-point play capped Boston’s 5-0 run to start the second. The hosts got back within eight on a Kemba Walker drive, but Grant Williams followed with an and-one.
Derrick White capped the Celtics’ four straight 3-point makes, taking a 55-37 lead with 4:14 before halftime.
Each team’s stars heated late in the first half, making it 64-46 at the break. Tatum scored seven of Boston’s last eight points and Doncic posted seven straight for Dallas over the final 3:38.
Wood scored two jumpers for Dallas after halftime, but the teams traded 7-0 runs midway through the third. Tatum’s finger roll capped the Boston streak, giving it a 71-50 lead at 7:44.
Dinwiddie’s three started the Dallas run and set up Wood for an alley-oop dunk at the end.
Brogdon hit the Celtics’ third during a span of five treys with 3:08 left. Smart followed and then sank three straight free throws to create the 89-65 lead after three.
In the fourth, Dallas responded to Tatum’s step-back triple with a quick 6-0 run that included back-to-back Dwight Powell buckets.
Jaden Hardy (15 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (eight points) bookended another 8-0 Maverick run with two 3-pointers, but Tatum’s three-point play and a feed to Brown for an alley-oop dunk highlighted a 13-0 run with 4:12 left.