The Boston Celtics responded to back-to-back ugly losses with a dominant 124-95 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, courtesy of Jayson Tatum.
Tatum, like the Celtics collectively, needed to overcome a cold start to the contest. And like the Celtics, Tatum had no issue doing so. The 24-year-old came through with his first triple-double of the season against fellow MVP candidate Luka Doncic. Tatum scored 29 points alongside 14 rebounds and 10 assists, which marked his 10th consecutive 25-plus point performance.
Teammate Malcolm Brogdon, who led the bench with 15 points, spoke highly of Tatum after the game. Brogdon highlighted the difference between Tatum last season in comparison to this season. He also highlighted his ability to overcome a slow start and finish on such a high note.
“He was a great player last year but he’s an MVP this year,” Brogdon said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “His poise, he had like four points in the first quarter. He never gets raddled, he never gets rushed, he never gets panicked for points or stats. He let’s the game come to him. He’s a great player and we’re following his lead.”
The triple-double from Tatum also served as the second in his six-year NBA career.
Meanwhile, the Celtics found their rhythm and didn’t take their foot off the gas until the final buzzer sounded. Boston shot 37.2% (16-for-43) from beyond the arc, and while that was just enough to perfectly match their season average, it was Boston’s ball movement that uplifted them.
As a team, the Celtics finished the night with 29 assists which topped their 26.6 season average. The total was also 14 higher than the Mavericks’ 15 assists.
“This is a really good team that we played tonight,” Brogdon said. “But I think more for ourselves, once again, we proved that we can beat the best but we gotta do it consistently.”
In the process, the Celtics ended the Mavericks’ seven-game win streak.