NBA: Celtics hold off Wizards behind Jayson Tatum’s 32


Posted at Jan 09 2021 11:45 AM

NBA: Celtics hold off Wizards behind Jayson Tatum’s 32 1
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives the ball against Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) in the first quarter at TD Garden. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Jayson Tatum scored 32 points, Jaylen Brown added 27 and the shorthanded Boston Celtics held off the visiting Washington Wizards 116-107 on Friday night.

Marcus Smart had 13 points, Payton Pritchard 11 and Daniel Theis 10 as the Celtics won for the sixth time in their last seven games. Brown chipped in a game-high 13 rebounds.

Bradley Beal followed a franchise-record-tying 60 points scored Wednesday with 41, but the Wizards lost for the seventh time in their first nine games. 

Russell Westbrook, playing with a dislocated finger on his right hand, had 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

Rui Hachimura scored 17 for Washington, and Davis Bertans had 13.

The Celtics were without three of their big men as Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams and Robert Williams III were each sidelined as part of COVID-19 protocol. 

Robert Williams tested positive for the virus, according to multiple reports, and Thompson and Grant Williams were singled out via contact tracing.

Its depth depleted, Boston saw a 28-point lead with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter trimmed to single digits, 99-90, with 9:07 left in the fourth. 

The Wizards got within four before the Celtics countered with a 7-0 spurt for a 106-95 advantage with 5:12 to go.

Washington battled back to within five on back-to-back 3-pointers by Bertans, but Brown nailed a 3 and Smart sank 1 of 2 free throws for a 110-101 Boston lead with 1:31 left.

Beal and Tatum traded a pair of baskets each, as the Celtics held on down the stretch.

Beal had just four points in the fourth quarter. The Wizards trailed 96-81 to begin the period.

The Celtics grabbed the game's first double-digit lead, 29-19, with 2:34 remaining in the first and ended the quarter up 33-28. 

They began the second on a 10-3 run and continued to pull away, increasing their margin up to 64-43 following a Tatum 3-point play with 2:42 remaining.

Boston's lead was 66-47 at the half.