The Boston Celtics kept the good times rolling over the holidays with a 129-117 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. The win was Boston’s fifth straight and lifted their home record to an NBA-best 13-1.
This win was keyed by the Celtics young stars, as Jaylen Brown tied his career-high with 34 points and Jayson Tatum scored 30 of his own. That was the first time the Brown and Tatum duo reached the 30-point plateau in the same game. Boston raised their record to 7-0 on the season when Brown and Tatum combine for at least 50 points.
Brown was 13-of-20 from the field, while Tatum knocked down 11-of-20. They were each 5-of-10 from behind the arc. And Brown and Tatum combined for 14 rebounds as well.
Enes Kanter was big off the bench for the Celtics with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Six Kanter’s rebounds came on the offensive glass as Boston held a 12-6 advantage in that department and a 43-38 edge overall on the boards.
The Celtics raced out to a 20-point lead in the third quarter before the Cavaliers used a run to start the fourth quarter to cut the lead to just eight. That run was led by Kevin Love, who scored 30 points, and Collin Sexton, who added 21 points of his own.
Boston was able to get the blowout despite an off-night from Kemba Walker, who shot just 5-of-15 overall and 1-of-8 on three-pointers. That the Celtics still won going away with Walker struggling is a testament to the depth of Boston’s talent. This is the kind of game that the Charlotte Hornets regularly lost during Walker’s time in teal.
Daniel Theis and Gordon Hayward were also quietly productive. Theis scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds despite some foul trouble. Theis also blocked two of the 10 shots Boston blocked on the night. Hayward filled the stat sheet with seven points, five rebounds and eight assists, and a block of his own.
Getting the big lead and being able to empty the bench was important as the Celtics will play again tomorrow (Saturday) against the Toronto Raptors. That back-to-back is part of three games in four nights for Boston. Note: Saturday’s game starts 30 minutes earlier than usual for a Celtics home game with a 7:00 PM EST tip time.