Celtics Wrap: Jayson Tatum Drops 30 Points In 113-104 Win Over Knicks


Considering the Boston Celtics faced an injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets team and simply disastrous Knicks squad in their weekend trip to New York, it would have been problematic if they returned to Boston winless.

Crisis averted.

Behind a game-high 30 points from Jayson Tatum, which tied his season high, the Celtics earned a 113-104 win over the Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, finishing the brief road trip with a 1-1 record. The Celtics trailed by as many as nine during the third quarter, but chipped away before taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the back half of the fourth quarter.

Jaylen Brown (28 points), Kemba Walker (15), Brad Wanamaker (11) and Enes Kanter (11 points and 11 rebounds) also finished in double figures for Boston. 

Julius Randle led the way for New York with 26 points.

The Celtics climb to 14-5 with the win, while the Knicks fell to 4-16.

Here’s how it all went down:

PG:  Kemba Walker
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Daniel Theis

The opening quarter wasn’t exactly a clinic in defense, with the Celtics taking a 31-30 lead into the second.

It was level-pegging throughout the quarter, with neither team leading by more than five at any point. Walker and Tatum began cooking right away, finishing with seven and 10 points, respectively.

Though the defense was a pinch better in the second quarter, the difference between the two sides remained the same. The game went into the break tied at 58 after the Knicks outscored the Celtics 28-27 in the second.

Each side traded blows seemingly every trip down the floor, and in doing so neither could really build any semblance of a run. The Celtics had the frame’s biggest lead of four, but otherwise the Knicks had no trouble keeping it close.

Brown did start to heat up in the frame, dropping a game-high eight second-quarter points. However, it was Robert Williams that stole the show with a massive dunk off a nice feed from Wanamaker.

The first half ended up featuring 13 lead changes and 10 more ties. Tatum led all players with 17 points through two quarters.

After a first half that saw neither side take much of a lead, the Knicks quickly grabbed the biggest advantage of the game in the third. Ultimately, the hosts outscored Boston 27-23 to take an 85-81 advantage into the final frame.

The Knicks came out of the gate firing, beginning the quarter by outscoring the Celtics 14-5 to create a nine-point lead.

From there though, the Celtics did a nice job of chipping away at the deficit, thanks in part to Kanter, who dropped seven points in the quarter, most on the team.

With 7:45 left in the third, the Celtics suffered an injury scare, as Marcus Smart was nailed by a driving Kevin Knox. That sent Smart to the floor clutching his hip area, and he was helped up by team medical staff and taken to the locker room. He did not return for the rest of the game with what the team called “a direct blow to the abdomen.”

The Celtics’ game of catch-up continued into the fourth quarter, but once they went ahead they didn’t look back. They outscored the Knicks 32-19 in the fourth to earn the victory.

It took nearly half the quarter for the Celtics to erase their deficit, but a Semi Ojeleye triple tied the game at 95 with 6:33 to play. Brown added a layup 41 seconds later to give the C’s their first lead of the half and continue a run, which ended up being a 12-0 burst over 2:59.

With the momentum very much on Boston’s side, a sizable advantage (well, sizable considering the opponent) was created. A Tatum 3-pointer with 3:34 to play pulled the Celtics ahead by nine, forcing New York into a timeout and effectively putting the game out of reach.

This one is worth watching again.

The Celtics will return home for a meeting with the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Tip from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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