Brown has 27 and Tatum adds 26 for the Celtics in 121-99 win over Portland

Tue, Mar 12, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Brown has 27 and Tatum adds 26 for the Celtics in 121-99 win over Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Jaylen Brown scored 27 points, Jayson Tatum added 26 and the Boston Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers 121-99 on Monday night despite the absence of two key starters.

Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis were sidelined with injuries for the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics, who have already clinched a playoff spot with 18 games remaining in the season.

Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers, who are second-to-last in the West.

Boston, which has won an NBA-leading 21 games on the road this season, pushed its lead to 20 points in the third quarter.

Sam Hauser's 3-pointer with 8:40 to go in the game put Boston up 101-83, and his step-back 3 made it 115-95 and sent Portland fans streaming for the exits. Hauser finished with a season-high six 3-pointers and 22 points.

Holiday, who had 15 points in a 117-107 victory at the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, had a sore left knee, while Porzingis missed his second straight game with a tight right hamstring.

Even without them, the Celtics led by as many as 17 points in the first half. Ayton's floater got Portland within 56-47 and Anfernee Simons added a 3-pointer to close the gap to six points.

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Tatum dunked to put Boston back up 62-50 as the Celtics went on a 10-2 run to lead 66-52 at the half. Brown led all scorers with 17 points.

Tatum, the Celtics' leading scorer, was listed as questionable going into the game with a right ankle issue, but started for Boston. Tatum had 29 points at Phoenix. Brown and Derrick White also played after being listed as questionable for the first night of a back-to-back.

Jerami Grant, who missed Portland's 128-118 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night with a sore hamstring, was back in the starting lineup. The minutes restriction on rookie Scoot Henderson because of an adductor injury was also lifted and he also started.

UP NEXT:

Celtics: Visit the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Trail Blazers: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

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