NBA: Celtics lean on All-Star duo to blast Kings
Jayson Tatum had 36 points, sidekick Jaylen Brown went for 27 and the Boston Celtics completed a successful late-season trip with a 132-109 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
Derrick White added 20 points for the Celtics, who bounced back from a loss at Utah to go 4-2 on their cross-country trek.
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points to go along with game highs of 13 rebounds and 12 assists for the Kings, who lost their second straight.
Jayson Tatum showed out in the Boston W 🔥
He ties Larry Bird for the most 30+ point games in a season in Celtics history (39) pic.twitter.com/b3lVQ9XVIr
— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2023
Boston trailed 54-51 before scoring the final nine points of the first half to take the lead for good. Al Horford and Brown had 3-pointers in the run, before Tatum sent the Celtics into the break up 60-54 with a three-point play on a layup.
The visitors then broke the game open with a 40-point third quarter, taking charge when Brown, Horford and Marcus Smart bombed in consecutive threes to open a 79-66 advantage in the third minute of the period.
Tatum shot just 2-for-7 on 3-pointers and 6-for-11 at the free-throw line, but managed his game-high total mostly on the strength of 12-for-18 shooting on 2-pointers. The 30-point game was his 39th of the season, matching Larry Bird’s franchise record for most 30-point games in a single season.
Boston outshot the hosts 53.3 percent to 48.1 percent and outscored them 54-51 from beyond the arc. White hit five 3-pointers and Brown added four to pace the Celtics in that department.
Smart (17 points) and Horford (11) assured that all five Celtics starters scored in double figures, helping Boston complete a two-game, season-series sweep.
White completed a double-double with a team-high 11 assists, while Tatum was Boston’s leading rebounder with eight boards.
Sabonis’ triple-double was his 12th of the season and came on a night when he also had a game-high six turnovers.
De’Aaron Fox paced Sacramento with 18 points, while Keegan Murray had 15, Davion Mitchell 13, Terence Davis 12 and Harrison Barnes 11.