Tatum leads the way with 21 points as Celtics beat Bulls 113-101

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Jayson Tatum followed up his 41-point performance on Saturday with 21 more as the Celtics got their second straight win by double digits, topping the Chicago Bulls 113-101 at TD Garden on Monday.

The Bulls fell flat early and never recovered, scoring just 14 points and shooting 5-for-19 as a team in the first quarter. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and others made it hard for them on the defensive end as well. Chicago couldn't stop Enes Kanter or Kemba Walker early on, either, as the big man and point guard combined for 17 points to give the C's a 28-14 advantage after one.

Chicago shot better in the second quarter, but Kanter kept it rolling and hit halftime with 15 points and seven rebounds. Bulls guard Zach Lavine, who entered Monday's game averaging 24.4 points per game, hit the half with just eight points despite ultimately scoring 30. Boston extended their lead to 18 at halftime, 55-37.

The Bulls continued to improve offensively and cut the Celtics' lead down to 75-69 with 1:39 left in the third. But a Grant Williams three sparked a late run that had them up 83-71 after three.

Boston tightened up defensively early in the fourth quarter as they pulled away. Tatum closed strong with eight of his 21 points in the final 12 minutes. The Celtics again spread the wealth offensively, with six players in double-digit scoring and 28 assists as a team, compared to 16 for the Bulls.

Boston Celtics on Twitter

Sheesh @jaytatum0 https://t.co/jZZ4haOsrx

Marcus Smart had a well-rounded game as he chipped in with 12 points and terrorized the Bulls at the defensive end. He finished with three steals and a plus-25 rating, and also dished out eight assists.

Boston Celtics on Twitter

What a pass by Smart! ???? https://t.co/kUmtPIySkO

The C's have now won two straight games by at least 12 points after suffering their first three-game losing streak of the season. Tatum is catching fire and the offense is playing good team basketball just in time for big upcoming matchups against the Bucks and Lakers.

Up Next: The Celtics get another home game on Wednesday night, when the Detroit Pistons come to town.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].