NBA regular season

Brown drops 41 as Celtics wallop Spurs, stay close to Bucks in standings


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Brown drops 41 as Celtics wallop Spurs, stay close to Bucks in standings

MASKED MAN. Jaylen Brown tows the Celtics to victory.

Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jaylen Brown carries the scoring load for a Celtics side missing top gunner Jayson Tatum

Jaylen Brown tossed in 41 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Boston Celtics moved closer to the NBA’s best record by earning a 137-93 home victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, March 26 (Monday, March 27, Manila time).

The Celtics (52-23) entered Sunday’s game as the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference standings, two games behind idle Milwaukee. The Bucks own the best record in the league (53-21).

Malcolm Brogdon added 20 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds for the Celtics, who also received 19 points and 8 rebounds from Derrick White.

Zach Collins led San Antonio with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Malaki Branham finished with 15 points for the Spurs.

San Antonio trailed 72-66 early in the third, but Boston had a 96-77 advantage after three quarters and led by 31 midway through the fourth.

The Spurs (19-56) dropped to 6-31 in road games and are battling Houston to stay out of the Western Conference cellar. San Antonio has lost four in a row and six of its last seven.

Each team was without its top scorer. Boston’s Jayson Tatum was scratched about an hour before Sunday’s tip-off because of a left hip contusion. Tatum is averaging 30.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. It’s the sixth game he has missed this season.

San Antonio was missing Keldon Johnson because of a foot injury. Johnson scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds during Friday night’s 136-124 loss to Washington. It was the eighth time he’s scored at least 30 points in a game this season and his fifth double-double.

Johnson, who sat out two games earlier in the week because of a neck strain, is averaging 22 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

The Spurs led 32-30 after one quarter, but the Celtics had a 68-58 lead at halftime. Brown had 26 points in the first half.

The Celtics beat the Spurs 121-116 on January 7, the only other meeting between the teams this season. –

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