Tatum, Brown lead Celtics past Bucks in showdown of East leaders

Jayson Tatum shook off an illness to tally 23 points and 11 rebounds, carrying the Boston Celtics over the Milwaukee Bucks 119-116 on Wednesday night in an early showdown of top Eastern Conference teams.

Jaylen Brown had 26 points and eight assists for Boston, who improved the NBA’s best record to 12-3. Kristaps Porzingis added 21 points and Derrick White scored 13.

The Celtics opened a 21-point lead in the first half and never trailed. They held that double-digit edge until the Bucks made a late charge in the final two minutes, slicing it to 114-111 before Tatum hit three free throws in the closing 21.2 seconds.

Brook Lopez led Milwaukee (10-5) with 28 points. Damian Lillard had 27 points, five rebounds and five assists, but Giannis Antetokounmpo was limited to 21 points after scoring at least 40 in his last two games.

The Bucks, who scored 130 points or more in their last three games, had a five-game winning streak halted.


In San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points while hearing boos that prompted San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich to admonish the crowd, Paul George added 24 and Los Angeles beat San Antonio.

Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall draft pick, had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs, whose fans were more focused on jeering one of their former stars.

Fans booed as Leonard stood at the free-throw line late in the first half. Popovich grabbed the public address microphone and told the crowd to “stop all the booing” and “have a little class.” The fans were quiet momentarily but then began booing even more loudly.

Jeremy Sochan finished with 19 points, Devin Vassell added 18, Zach Collins had 16 and Johnson 15 for San Antonio, which has trailed by at least 15 points in eight games this season.


In Los Angeles, Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play, and Dallas blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before rallying back to beat Los Angeles.

LeBron James scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and made the tiebreaking tip-in with 1:16 to play for the Lakers, but the NBA career scoring leader also made a turnover with four seconds left and then missed a tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

After Luka Doncic and James traded missed 3-point attempts in the final minute, Irving coolly hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night near the Lakers’ bench. Doncic then stole James’ poor pass to the basket, and Irving hit two free throws before James missed another 3-point attempt.

Doncic scored 30 points for the Mavs, who missed 16 of their 19 shots in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles outscored Dallas 30-13 in the fourth, but couldn’t turn it into a win. Anthony Davis had just 10 points and 14 rebounds, going scoreless in the fourth quarter.


In Phoenix, Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Devin Booker added 25 and Phoenix won their fifth straight game by beating Golden State.

The Suns had a 23-point lead midway through the third quarter, but the Warriors managed to cut the advantage to 118-115 with 19 seconds left after Durant was called for a technical foul. Booker made a pair of free throws with 12.4 seconds left to thwart the rally.

Durant and Booker combined to go 28 for 29 on free throws.

The Warriors have lost seven of their past eight games, falling to 7-9 for the season. Golden State point guard Chris Paul was ejected by referee Scott Foster in his return to the desert after receiving two technicals late in the second quarter for arguing.


In Orlando,Fla., Franz Wagner scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half, Paolo Banchero added 23 points, and Orlando beat Denver for their fifth straight win.

Nikola Jokic finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who fell to 4-4 without injured guard Jamal Murray. The triple-double was the sixth of the season for Jokic and 111th of his career.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 points for Denver.

Cole Anthony scored 20 points for the Magic, who took the lead for good on Banchero’s 3-pointer with 1:49 left.


In Minneapolis, Anthony Edwards scored 31 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Minnesota beat Philadelphia, who were playing without MVP Joel Embiid.

Embiid missed his first game of the season with left hip soreness after playing 38 minutes with 38 points and 12 rebounds in the 76ers’ 122-119 overtime loss at Cleveland a night earlier.

Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have won three straight and 10 of 11.

Marcus Morris Sr. started for Embiid and scored 16 points. Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton each had 16 points for the Sixers, who’ve lost four of six.


In Oklahoma City, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 40 points, Chet Holmgren had 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots, and Oklahoma City beat Chicago for their sixth straight victory.

Isaiah Joe added 20 points for the Thunder (11-4), on their longest winning streak since the 2018-19 season.

Gilgeous-Alexander raised his average to 30 points for the season and was showered with “MVP! MVP!” chants as he closed out the game with six free throws down the stretch.

DeMar DeRozan, after making just one basket in the first half, led the Bulls with 25 points.

HAWKS 147 NETS 145, OT

In Atlanta, Trae Young scored a season-high 43 points, including 14 in overtime, and Atlanta outlasted Brooklyn in their second shootout in two nights.

A night after falling 157-152 to the Indiana Pacers, the Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak and got back to .500.

De’Andre Hunter had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and scored nine straight points for the Hawks in the fourth quarter. Clint Capela finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.


In Cleveland, Kyle Lowry made seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 28 points, and Miami rolled past sluggish Cleveland.

Lowry made his first five 3s and finished 7 of 9 from long range. The Heat were without injured All-Star center Bam Adebayo but built a 19-point lead in first half and never trailed in winning for the ninth time in 10 games. Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. had his best game as a pro with 22 points.

The Cavs, a day after winning in overtime at Philadelphia, had their winning streak stopped at four. Cleveland rookie Craig Porter Jr. scored a team-high 16 points in his first career start.


In Indianapolis, Pascal Siakam scored 36 points, Scottie Barnes drove for the go-ahead dunk with 27 seconds left, and Toronto beat Indiana.

Barnes had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and his slam put Toronto ahead 130-129 for the last of five lead changes in the final 1:22. Dennis Schroder scored 26 points for the Raptors.

Buddy Hield missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left for the Pacers. He finished with 31 points and made 7 of 12 3s. Tyrese Haliburton had 33 points and 16 assists for Indiana.


In New Orleans, Zion Williamson scored 25 points, Brandon Ingram added 21 and New Orleans beat Sacramento.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who also beat the Kings in New Orleans on Monday night. Jordan Hawkins added 13 points and Naji Marshall scored 12.

De’Aaron Fox finished with 26 points for the Kings. Domantas Sabonis had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Harrison Barnes added 22 points.

New Orleans missed 23 of 30 3-point attempts but outscored the Kings 62-28 in the paint.


In Houston, Jalen Green scored 26 of his season-high 34 points in the second half and Houston beat Memphis to stop a three-game skid.

Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 23 points each for the Grizzlies, who lost for the third time in four games.

Dillon Brooks, who spent his first six seasons with the Grizzlies, had 13 points in the first game against his former team after signing with the Rockets in the offseason. Jabari Smith Jr. added 18 points with nine rebounds as the Rockets improved to 7-1 at home.


In Charlotte, N.C., LaMelo Ball had 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds as Charlotte rallied from a 19-point deficit to hand Washington their seventh straight loss.

Miles Bridges had a season-high 33 points and 11 rebounds, and Mark Williams added 11 points and 14 rebounds for Charlotte.

Ball had 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the fourth quarter, and Bridges hit a step-back 3 with 47 seconds left to put Charlotte ahead for good.

Kyle Kuzma had 28 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Jordan Poole added 24 points for the Wizards.


In Portland, Oregon, Jerami Grant scored 30 points and Portland beat Utah to snap an eight-game skid.

Malcolm Brogdon added 20 points and eight assists, and Jabari Walker came off the bench to score a career-high 19 with 10 rebounds. The Blazers led by as many as 32 points.

Lauri Markkanen had 24 points for the Jazz, who have lost five straight and eight of 10.

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