clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 73 points, Celtics outlast Mavericks, 119-110

The Celtics are now 27-2 all-time when Tatum and Brown each score 30-plus.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

By their lofty standards, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had been relatively quiet as scorers over the past week.

Tatum averaged 20.8 points on 35.8 percent shooting in four games. Brown contributed 15.7 points on 40.8 percent shooting in three games.

They returned to form with conviction Monday night, guiding the Celtics to a 119-110 road win over the Dallas Mavericks. Tatum exploded for 39 points on 11-of-21 shooting and Brown added 34 on 13-of-22 shooting. They hit 30-plus in the same game for the third time this season, and the Celtics (34-10) are now 27-2 all-time when that happens.

It wasn’t quite as dramatic as Joel Embiid’s 70-piece or Karl-Anthony Towns’ 62, but it did the job against a pesky and talented opponent.

Tatum did it largely with his physicality and quick decisions, eclipsing 30 for the first time since Jan. 10. Brown wreaked havoc with his handle, cracking 30 for the first time since Jan. 13. Together, they out dueled Dallas’ dynamic duo of Luka Doncic (33 points, 18 rebounds, 13 assists) and Kyrie Irving (23 points).

The Mavericks (24-19) jumped out to a 19-12 edge, as the Celtics started 3 for 15 from the floor and 0 for 7 from 3-point range on the second night of a back-to-back. Boston generated decent looks, but nothing fell early.

Then Jayson Tatum found a rhythm, finishing the quarter with 13 points and helping the Celtics slice the deficit to 26-24 through one. Doncic paced the Mavericks with 9 points and 7 rebounds in the quarter, and Dereck Lively II was active at the rim.

Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet and Payton Pritchard kept the momentum rolling early in the second, beating the Mavericks to loose balls and scoring in a variety of ways. Tatum continued to sizzle, and Jaylen Brown roasted Doncic on back-to-back possessions as Boston’s lead ballooned to 13.

Tatum and Brown poured in 18 and 17 points in the half, respectively. Pritchard finished plus-20, Jrue Holiday shot without hesitation and Al Horford did a little bit of everything. The Celtics zipped the ball around and played with purpose.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led Dallas with 18, but Tatum swatted old friend Grant Williams’ heave at the buzzer to help the Celtics preserve a 65-59 edge heading into the half. Both teams had 23 field goals, 14 assists and three steals, but Boston built a slight edge from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line.

Tatum and Brown continued to win their matchups decisively, getting downhill with ease early in the third. Tatum played bully ball in the paint, and Brown showed off his smooth handles.

The Celtics upped the margin to 90-74 with 2:42 left in the quarter. Each of Holiday’s first 12 shots came from beyond the arc, and he made five of Boston’s 14 through three.

The Celtics led, 94-83, heading to the fourth, then a Doncic 3 cut it to 103-96 with 4:59 remaining. Brown immediately responded after a timeout, drilling a jumper in Doncic’s grill then converting on a big-time four-point play to push the margin to 109-98.

Tatum rejected Hardaway, raced the other way and hit two free throws with 1:10 remaining to seal it.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog