BOSTON — The birthday boy ended up putting on a show for others last night with his 37 point performance over the Memphis Grizzlies 120-107. Tatum and Ja Morant dueled in the final moments which certainly left fans leaving TD Garden entertained.
“Make sure I’m staying out of his f*****g way,” said Celtics guard Marcus Smart about Tatum’s hot streak. Smart put up 18 points and 12 assists, giving him a double double. As for the rest of the C’s they certainly picked up the much needed slack with Jaylen Brown being out with a day-to-day ankle sprain. Three players putting up double doubles.
Al Horford showed up with 21 point and 15 rebounds. Robert Williams put up his own double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Boston was short handed with only playing 9 players—but coach Udoka made it work. Showing why he was named February’s Coach of the Month. The game was close for nearly the entire game. Celtics only led by two points at halftime 47-45.
The blazing hot Ja Morant put up 38 points with 7 assists. But it was Memphis’ lack of effort on the boards and facilitating that hurt them. Jaren Jackson Jr. came second in scoring for the Grizzlies with 20 points. Desmond Bane put up 17 points. But the rest of the team failed to find their scoring.
With a lead going into the fourth—Boston started to peal away. Tatum, dropping 21 points in the fourth quarter alone. It was a nice present as players typically play well on their born day.
With that win—the Celtics are now tied with the reigning NBA champs Milwaukee Bucks. They knock off Cleveland for the 5th spot in the eastern conference. They now sit at 38-27 winning 13 of their last 15 games.
Boston will be tested Sunday when they face a Brooklyn Nets team that seems to be coming into full strength. Still no word on whether Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons will all be on the floor.