Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Celtics 120, Cavaliers 113: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown combine for 50 points to remain unbeaten at home

The Celtics remain the only unbeaten team at home after a 120-113 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night.

Jayson Tatum finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Brown also scored 25 points on 10-of-17 from the field and four assists to help Boston improve to a league best 17-5 record on the season.
"This was a good win, especially with the way we started the game. It could have went south early," Tatum said in his postgame comments. "But we stuck with it and we were just thankful to only be down 10 in that first quarter."
Kristaps Porzingis recorded a double-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and Derrick White added 17 points, four assists for the Celtics, who have won 18 consecutive regular season games at TD Garden dating back to the 2022-23 campaign.
"They came out very aggressive and we came out a little bit not as aggressive. They punched first," Porzingis told to reporters, after scoring 19 in the final two quarters. "By halftime we were close, but then second half I felt we really turned it on."
Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting, but was held to just two points in the fourth quarter. Darius Garland had 26 points, seven assists and Max Strus chipped in 17 points on 5-of-11 from deep for the Cavs, who dropped to 13-11 on back-to-back losses on consecutive days.

The Celtics trailed 25-10 in the first quarter -- the largest margin of the night, before grabbing their first lead of the game with 1:39 remaining in the first half.

Down 60-59 at the break, Brown put Boston back in front with a quick dunk and 3-poointer to start the third as part of a 9-4 spurt. But Mitchell responded with a 11-2 run of his own in a back and forth the rest of the period, as the C's were ahead 94-92 heading into the final frame.

Porzingis broke a 106-106 tie midway through the fourth with back-to-back trips to the free throw line (sinking all four attempts), that was followed by a Tatum 26-foot 3-ball to start a 14-7 run for the Celtics to put away Cleveland for good.
"Success looks different every night," Tatum said. "Everybody is contributing at a high rate and we're winning. We're the best team in the league. Winning takes care of everything."
The Celtics will remain at home, where they are now 11-0, to host these very same Cavaliers Thursday night, NBA TV has the tip-off at 7:30 pm ET.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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