JAYSON Tatum lost his personal duel with Stephen Curry, but the Boston Celtics won their battle with the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, outfinishing the visitors for a 119-114 win in a nationally televised duel of streaking teams.
Tatum scored a driving hoop to break a tie with 48.8 seconds left, and Kemba Walker delivered the dagger with a three-pointer 24 seconds later, allowing the Celtics to record their sixth straight win.
Tatum finished with a team-high 44 points, three fewer than Curry, who continued his week-long assault on the three-point line with 11 more.
Curry, who turned his left ankle in the fourth quarter but never left the game, topped 32 points for a league-best 10th consecutive game and surpassed 40 for the third time in four games in the last six days.
Curry, the league leader in three-pointers, went 11-for-19 from beyond the arc, giving him 10 or more three times in his six-day flurry.
Tatum shot 16-for-25 overall and 5-for-9 on threes en route to his second-highest point total of the season for the Celtics, who were coming off a 3-0 trip against Western heavyweights Denver, Portland, and the Los Angeles (LA) Lakers.
Tatum also found time to complete a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Walker finished with 26 points and Marcus Smart with 16 for the Celtics. They combined for seven more three-pointers, helping the Celtics nearly keep pace with the Warriors from beyond the arc, making 15 in 46 tries as compared to Golden State’s 17 in 40.
Jabari Parker had 11 points off the bench in his Celtics debut and Peyton Pritchard matched that total for the Celtics, who swept the two-game season series from the Warriors despite sitting out Jaylen Brown.
Andrew Wiggins had 22 points, Kent Bazemore gained 16, and Jordan Poole got 12 for the Warriors, who saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.
Draymond Green, who missed two key interior shots late in the tight game, accumulated a game-high 10 assists to go with five points and five rebounds.
The Warriors not only outscored the Celtics (51-45) on three-pointers, but also outshot them overall, 51.3% to 46.8%.
NO WHITE HOUSE VISIT
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to be stifled by effects from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lakers were unable to hold a parade to celebrate its 2020 NBA title in Los Angeles, and now they won’t be able to visit the White House, as they had hoped, during a road trip later this month.
The visit to President Joe Biden’s White House is not on the schedule surrounding LA’s April 28 game against the Washington Wizards, according to the Los Angeles Times, because of scheduling conflicts and coronavirus concerns.
Yahoo! Sports wrote early this year that the Lakers sought to make their visit month and that the team was eager to do so.
LeBron James expressed his excitement following the team’s victory in the NBA Finals.
ESPN reported that a future visit was still possible.
The Lakers expect to have James and Anthony Davis back for the playoffs, which begin in mid-May. — Reuters