The Boston Celtics will aim to boost their league-best record and flex a little after a momentum-building victory when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.
The Celtics are making their only visit to San Antonio this season following a dominating 124-95 road win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
Jayson Tatum led the way with his second career triple-double, racking up 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as Boston snapped a two-game skid and ended Dallas’ seven-game winning streak.
“When we’re at our best, we play really good basketball on both ends of the floor with high effort for a long period of time,” Boston interim coach Joe Mazzulla said postgame. “We went through a couple of games where we lose that. What I love about tonight was we did bounce back, but can we do it over and over again until we develop those great habits?”
Tatum scored 18 of his points after halftime. Jaylen Brown added 15 of his 19 points in the game in the second half, while Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon hit for 15 apiece, Grant Williams tallied 12 points and Derrick White had 10.
Boston allowed the high-flying Mavericks just 19 points in the third quarter.
“When we play the best, we really do beat the best,” Brogdon said. “We bring our best performances against them, but we have to do this consistently, night in and night out.”
The Spurs are not the best, but they were on their game Friday when they took charge in the middle of the third quarter on the way to a 121-109 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons.
Tre Jones scored 25 points and Jakob Poeltl had 11 points and 16 rebounds as the Spurs snapped a three-game losing streak.
The game was tied at 65 halfway through the third quarter before San Antonio took charge with a 10-0 run. It started with a layup by Romeo Langford and was capped by a 3-pointer from Josh Richardson.
The Spurs led by 12 points after Richardson’s dunk with 42.8 seconds to play in the period before heading to the fourth quarter with an 86-76 advantage.
The Pistons never got closer than five points in the final period.
“Everybody stepped up, you know, big time,” Jones said. “There’s always been a next-man-up mentality for us. We were able to come together and get a big one.”
Langford added 15 points for San Antonio, with Malaki Branham hitting for 14 and Jeremy Sochan 10. The Spurs have won three of their past four home games.
Sochan has scored in double figures in 17 games this season, the most by any Spurs rookie since Kawhi Leonard’s 25 in 2011-12.
The Spurs will have to play an extended stint without second-leading scorer Devin Vassell, who will have arthroscopic left knee surgery next week. San Antonio also might be without leading scorer Keldon Johnson against the Celtics after he tweaked his left hamstring on Friday.
–Field Level Media