Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown lead Celtics past Suns 117-107, snapping rare 2-game skid

Sat, Mar 9, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown lead Celtics past Suns 117-107, snapping rare 2-game skid

PHOENIX (AP) - Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown added 27 and the NBA-leading Boston Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 117-107 on Saturday night.

The Celtics came into the game on a rare two-game skid after dropping games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets. After Saturday's win, Boston still hasn't lost three in a row and improved to 49-14 overall.

The Suns - playing without injured All-Star Devin Booker - were led by Kevin Durant's 45 points on 18-for-26 shooting. Bradley Beal added 25 points while Jusuf Nurkic scored 11 and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Brown scored 18 points to lead the Celtics to a 62-50 halftime advantage and they never trailed in the second half.

The Suns fought back in the third quarter and Durant's transition 3-pointer cut Boston's lead to 77-74 with 3:54 left, but Jrue Holiday responded with a 3 and the Celtics took an 87-78 lead into the final quarter.

Boston's Payton Pritchard and Tatum hit back-to-back 3s to start the fourth. Al Horford hit a corner 3-pointer with 1:54 left to put the Celtics up 110-102.

The Celtics got good production from their bench - particularly Luke Kornet and Pritchard. The 7-foot-1 Kornet had 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Pritchard scored 10.

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Boston starter Kristaps Porzingis missed the game with right hamstring tightness.

Booker missed his fourth straight game with a sprained ankle. The four-time All-Star has returned to the floor for practice as he nears his expected return.

The Suns came into the game as the No. 6 team in the crowded Western Conference race and are trying to stay out of the postseason play-in tournament. The top six seeds in each conference automatically move to the first best-of-seven round.

UP NEXT

Celtics: At Portland on Monday.

Suns: At Cleveland on Monday.

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

DAVID BRANDT Sports Reporter based in Phoenix twitter mailto "
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