Jayson Tatum scored 18 points in a crucial third quarter and finished with 41 points to help the Boston Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113 on Wednesday night.
Tatum added 11 rebounds and 8 assists as Boston earned its first win in three games against Cleveland this season. The 24-year-old forward passed Giannis Antetokounmpo in his 40-point game for the 20th time in his career to move into his seventh place on his under-25 scoring list.
“I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to think about where I am or what I’ve accomplished,” Tatum said. So I’m just trying to enjoy this moment and make my presence felt.”RELATED
The Celtics have improved to 15-18 against teams over .500 this season.
Tatum’s performance helped overshadow the 44-point performance of All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who escaped injury after a third-quarter knockdown.
Al Horford had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, and Jaylen Brown had 16 points.
Horford (13,464) is ranked 210th on the all-time rankings, but has moved within 52 points of 209 to line up with the legendary Dave Cowens (13,516). The Dominican player (8,075) moved him 49 rebounds away from his 80th place on his list of all-time rebounders occupied by Chris Webber (8,124).
Cleveland dropped their road record to 13-18 and 19-12 against strong teams this season. Darius Garland added his 29 points and he added nine assists to the Cavaliers.
Mitchell overcame his fears in less than six minutes to play in the third quarter. He lost his balance while attacking the baseline and fell awkwardly, leading to a layup from Tatum on the other side of the court.
Mitchell recorded his 23rd 30-point game of the season, setting a career-best 30-point game in a single season (2021-22).
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