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Celtics fast-paced offense runs circles around Nuggets, Boston wins 131-112

The Celtics dominated on the offensive end, leading to their ninth win of the year.

Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Boston Celtics picked up their ninth win of the season on Friday night, earning a big-time victory over Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, 131-112. With the win, the Celtics improved to 9-3 on the year and extended their winning streak to five. In the process, they snapped Denver’s own four-game win streak, causing them to fall to 8-4.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown once again set out to prove why they’re one of the best duos in the league. They combined to score 59 on 22-of-36 shooting from the field. Brown made his first nine shots of the game, while Tatum did a nice job showing off his aggressiveness.

Al Horford also put in a great shift. The veteran big man finished the night with 21 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting from distance.

The Celtics ripped apart what proved to be a porous Nuggets defense, ending the night shooting 55.7% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range. While their defense came and went at times, their offense was consistently generating good looks. Their run-and-gun play-style was too fast for Denver to keep up with.,

For the Nuggets, it was the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic who led the way in the scoring column with 29.

Jamal Murray pitched in with a 14-point, 10-assist double-double, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also proved to be a nuisance for the Celtics, as he dropped 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from distance.

Boston did a great job of controlling the glass in this one, which has been an area they’ve struggled in this season. The real feat was the Celtics’ own offensive rebounding efforts. They snagged 10 offensive boards, which marked their third-highest total of the season. Payton Pritchard led the way in that regard, grabbing four of his own.

Pritchard played a large role in the Celtics’ gameplan against Denver, as Malcolm Brogdon was out with hamstring tightness. He put up 11 points and five rebounds in 15:44 minutes. The young guard played with great hustle, including a highlight reel steal and putback layup in the second quarter.

The Celtics remained in control for most of the contest, leading by as much as 18, but a red-hot third quarter allowed the Nuggets to climb back into it. Denver shot 13-of-23 from the field and 5-of-6 from deep in the third, including a 3-of-3 performance from distance by Caldwell-Pope.

While Denver was able to enter the fourth quarter within six points, Boston’s offense was too much for them to handle. They made a couple of runs, but the Celtics eventually ballooned the lead back out to a double-digit cushion.

Boston plays again tomorrow night in Detroit, taking on the Pistons for the second time in four days. That game tips off at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.

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