By Tristan Deschenes, 98.5 The Sports Hub
In a battle of 2017 NBA Draft studs, Jayson Tatum dropped 30 plus points for the third consecutive game and outdueled Utah’s Donovan Mitchell as the Boston Celtics defeated the Utah Jazz, 114-103.
In a battle that was derailed by early foul trouble that sent Mitchell to the bench in the first quarter, Tatum and Mitchell went back and forth all night long upon Mitchell’s return, and both carried their teams early on.
Particularly in the second quarter, too, as Tatum scored 18 of his team’s 30 points in the second stanza, while Mitchell stayed with him bucket-for-bucket, scoring 20 of his team’s 36 points in the quarter.
Boston led by three heading into the fourth, and while this was Tatum’s night,a string of Marcus Smart threes gained momentum for the Green and allowed Brad Stevens’ squad to pull away from Utah in the final frame. Smart knocked down three consecutive looks from deep in total to give the Celtics a 98-87 lead with 7:42 to go in the game, and Smart continued his run by finding Enes Kanter for a layup that got the Boston lead up 100-87 with 7:23 to go.
The Green would lead by double digits the rest of the way, and Tatum would once again ice the game with his trademark step-back three to put the game away at 110-95 with three minutes left, sending an angry Jazz crowd home unhappy.
All five Celtics started scored in double-figures and were led by Tatum’s 33 points and 11 rebounds. Jaylen Brown also played well, scoring 20 points, while Marcus Smart added 17. Even Daniel Theis had himself another solid game, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven boards. But amid the boos from Jazz fans, Gordon Hayward struggled, scoring only 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Mitchell dropped 37 for the Jazz. Mike Conley, who has been having a tough year, shot only 5-of-13 for 15 points.
Up Next: Boston heads back home where they will have a rematch with James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Saturday.