By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
It wasn’t quite their season-best offensive outing against the Cavs, but the Celtics turned in another dominant performance on Monday night, beating the Bulls in Chicago 119-103. The win is Boston’s second in a row.
The game also marked Jayson Tatum’s return to the lineup for the first time since January 8, the day before he tested positive for COVID 19. Since then, the 22-year-old superstar had been away from the team and mostly away from the facility, with only a few workouts in the 17 day span.
Tatum wasted no time getting back into a groove. He scored seven of the Celtics’ first 14 points, and had the team up 14-8 at the first TV timeout. Continuing their impressive offensive play from Sunday, the C’s led 33-25 after one.
The second quarter was sloppy for both teams. Both teams were air balling shots if they weren’t turning it over. However, a pair of Aaron Nesmith three pointers late in the period helped the Celtics find their footing and extend their lead. They went into the break up 60-50.
After a 7-0 Celtics run to start the half, Chicago was forced into an early timeout. That turned into a 14-2 run after the timeout, with seven points coming from Jaylen Brown.
Boston led by as many as 22 in the third, but a 15-5 Bulls run drew a timeout from Brad Stevens, with his team up 79-67 midway through the third. Heading into the fourth, the Celtics led 91-76.
Chicago put together a 9-1 run, getting them within single digits with 10 minutes to play. That momentum wouldn’t last long, as the next two Celtics’ possessions saw three pointers from Tatum and Javonte Green, and Boston never looked back.
Brown continued his impressive run, scoring a team-high 26 points. He now has scored 25-plus in five straight games.
Tatum added 24 in his return, on 10-of-21 shooting. Daniel Theis contributed 19 points, and Marcus Smart recorded a double-double with 13 points and a career high 11 assists.
The Celtics are now 9-6 on the season after the win. Their next game is scheduled for Wednesday in San Antonio. However, the Spurs’ Monday night game was postponed due to COVID, so the status for Wednesday is still unknown. If it is played as scheduled, that game will have an 8:30 p.m. tipoff, with pregame coverage beginning at 8:00 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com