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Jayson Tatum poured in 25 points and Jaylen Brown added 24 as the visiting Boston Celtics put away the game in the third quarter of a 134-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday (Monday, January 1, Manila time).
The Celtics, the No. 1 team in the NBA, won their season-high-tying sixth straight game, while San Antonio, at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, dropped its second consecutive contest.
Boston led by 12 at halftime but pulled away with a dominating third quarter in which it outscored the Spurs 40-23. Brown had 16 of Boston’s points in the period while Tatum added 10, including seven in the final 2:05 of the quarter, after which the Celtics were up 105-76.
Boston cruised in the final period, stretching its lead to as many as 37 as both teams mainly rested their starters.
Derrick White scored 17 points for the Celtics, with Kristaps Porzingis hitting for 14, Luke Kornet producing 12 and Sam Hauser tallying 11.
Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 22 points. Victor Wembanyama added 21 and Malaki Branham had 11. San Antonio played without Keldon Johnson (back spasms) and Zach Collins (sprained right ankle).
Brown’s driving layup with 5:33 to play in the first quarter granted the Celtics a 21-12 lead. Boston was up by as many as 11 in the frame before a 3-pointer by Sandro Mamukelashvili at the 1:32 mark pulled the Spurs within 30-22 after 12 minutes of play.
San Antonio closed the gap to 42-35 just over 3 1/2 minutes into the second quarter on Wembanyama’s pullup jumper. Branham’s three-point play with 5:33 remaining in the quarter got the Spurs to within four before Boston scored the next seven points to move the margin back to double digits at 55-44.
The Celtics pushed their lead to 15 points on White’s 3-pointer with 27.3 seconds remaining and owned a 65-53 advantage at the break.
Tatum led the Celtics with 15 points before halftime while White had 13. Wembanyama paced the Spurs with 15 points and Vassell added 11 in the first half. – Rappler.com