A couple of weeks back, the Boston Celtics season looked to be heading south. A poor run of results left them battling with a clutch of teams to make the playoffs. Last night Jayson Tatum’s clutch 3-pointer handed them their fourth win in succession; a 116-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
That win makes the Celtics, for the time being at least, the form team in the Eastern Conference and improved their record to 29-26 on the season, also moving them to fifth in the table.
The Celtics have won six of their last seven games.
Most of the Celtics issues this season have come on the road where they are 12-16. Only the Knicks out of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference, have a worse record when they visit opposing teams.
JAYSON TATUM FOR THREE pic.twitter.com/vDfV7eBa65
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021
Tatum Stellar But Well Supported By Celtics Teammates
Jayson Tatum was once again the star for the Celtics, not only hitting the clutch three-pointer which moved the Celtics into a crucial four-point lead with just 7.8 seconds left to play, but he also netted 32 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
In doing so, he is now the second Celtics player to have thirty 30-point games before reaching the age of 24. Paul Pierce was the first.
In his last three games for the Celtics, Tatum has scored 113 points, recovered 29 rebounds and contributed 11 assists.
However, last night’s win was also down to the play of Tatum’s teammates. Jaylen Brown scored 24 points while Kemba Walker also hit 21 points.
Marcus Smart also caught the eye with some outstanding defensive plays including one hugely impressive hustle that resulted in a turnover of the ball in the Celtic’s favor.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021
For the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard scored 28 points and Carmelo Anthony came off the bench to land 25 points as Portland came up just short.
Portland lie 6th in the Western Conference with a 31-23 record but they have now lost their last two games and they are next in action against the ninth-placed San Antonio Spurs later this week.
Clippers Continue Their Excellent Run Of Form
In last night’s other games, the Los Angeles Clippers won their sixth game in a row to maintain their third position in the Western Conference standings. Their 126-115 win over the Indiana Pacers was led by Paul George who scored 36 points, as well as contributing 8 assists and 7 rebounds for the team.
In reply, Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points, with Caris LeVert contributing 26 and Domantas Sabonis 20 in what was ultimately a futile effort for the Pacers.
Pascal Siakam’s 30 point haul wasn’t enough to help his Toronto Raptors team to victory, as the Atlanta Hawks produced a solid team display to win 108-103. Bogdan Bogdanovic scoring 23 points, but Center Clint Capela caught the eye with an astounding 21 rebounds and 19 points.
Other contenders in the west to land a win included the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated the Charlotte Hornets 101-93, Kyle Kuzma top scoring with 24 points for the injury hit Lakers. The Utah Jazz were 106-96 winners over Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Phoenix Suns also ran out easy winners 106-86 over the Miami Heat.
Tonight’s NBA Action
The action tonight kicks off with the Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the Milwaukee Bucks in the early game with the Bucks trying to close the gap on the Nets and 76ers at the top of the Eastern Conference.
They should achieve that against the Timberwolves who at 14-41 on the season have the worst record of any team in the NBA at present.
The big game tonight is the Philadelphia 76ers taking on the Brooklyn Nets with both teams having a 37-17 record, so the winner of this game will be top of the Eastern Conference at the end of the game. It pits 76ers potential MVP Joel Embiid against the Nets Kevin Durant, with the Nets other two superstars Kyrie Irving and James Harden set to miss the game.
The full list of tonight’s games is:
- Minnesota Timberwolves v Milwaukee Bucks
- Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers
- Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets
- Toronto Raptors v San Antonio Spurs
- Chicago Bulls v Orlando Magic
- Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Clippers
- New Orleans Pelicans v New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets v Indiana Pacers
- Memphis Grizzlies v Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets v Miami Heat
- Sacramento Kings v Washington Wizards