Brown, Tatum lead Celtics to 3rd-biggest win in franchise history, 140-88 over weary Warriors

Sun, Mar 3, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Brown, Tatum lead Celtics to 3rd-biggest win in franchise history, 140-88 over weary Warriors

BOSTON (AP) - Jaylen Brown scored 29 points, Jayson Tatum had 27 on his 26th birthday, and the NBA-best Boston Celtics posted their third-largest winning margin in franchise history, drubbing the weary Golden State Warriors 140-88 on Sunday.

Payton Pritchard added 19 points for the Celtics, who set a league record with their third win this season by 50 points or more and extended their season-best winning streak to 11 games. Boston led by a franchise-record 44 points at halftime and pushed it to 51 early in the third quarter before coach Joe Mazzulla went to his reserves the rest of the way.

Stephen Curry didn't play the second half and finished with a season-low four points for Golden State, his fewest since he had three points in 16 minutes on March 16, 2022 at Boston - a game he departed with a foot injury. Curry was 2 of 13 from the field Sunday and missed all nine of his 3-point attempts, including consecutive airballs in the opening quarter.

The Warriors had won 11 of 13, including the first three of their East Coast trip that included three games in four days and a difficult trip to Toronto in which they sat on a tarmac for hours overnight.

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Lester Quinones led Golden State with 17 points in a team-high 33 minutes. None of the Warriors' starters played more than 20 minutes, and Moses Moody (11 points) was the only one to score in double figures.

Boston's only bigger blowout wins were 133-77 at Chicago on Dec. 8, 2018, and 128-75 over visiting Sacramento on Jan. 25, 2022.

Celtics forward Kristaps Porzingis missed the game with a bruised left quad.

The game was tied at 21-all in the opening quarter before the Celtics scored the next 14 points to begin a 58-13 spree that put them ahead by 35 late in the second quarter.

Brown sparked the run by hitting three straight 3s in a 40-second span, with the Warriors' Draymond Green playing some interesting defense by leaving him all alone and dropping off by at least five feet several times in the opening quarter.

Brown scored 19 points in the period, connecting on 5 of 8 3s, to push Boston to a 44-22 lead.

Curry, listed as questionable with right knee bursitis, went through warmups and decided to play. He front-rimmed his first 3 before airballing the next two.

In the opening quarter, Boston shot 62.5% on 3s (10 of 16) and 57.1% overall (16 of 28).

Tatum's 3 from the left wing pushed it to 74-34 in the second.

The Warriors missed 15 of 18 3-point attempts in the first half, and Boston had as many 3s (15 of 24) in the half as Golden State had baskets.

Boston left the floor to a standing ovation at halftime, holding an 82-38 lead.

In the second half, the crowd was somewhat subdued during the nationally televised matchup between teams met in the NBA Finals two years ago. Golden State won that series in six games, wrapping it up at Boston.

The fans did give Tatum a standing ovation when his birthday wishes were posted in the final quarter. He waved to the crowd with a big smile.

Derrick White finished with 14 points and Sam Hauser had 12. The Celtics led by 56 points in the second half.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Host Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Celtics: At Cleveland on Tuesday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA

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