PHOENIX (AP) — The toughest job today for the Boston Celtics is likely to be staying humble.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown every scored 25 factors, Malcolm Brogdon added 16 off the bench and the rolling Celtics embarrassed the sloppy Phoenix Suns 125-98 on Wednesday evening.
“You benefit from the second, however you’ve bought to grasp why you probably did it,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla mentioned. “Then you definitely’ve bought to know that it’s a protracted yr. This might occur to us. It may not, however we’re going to undergo some sort of obstacles all year long.”
For now, the Celtics are making it look simple.
Boston gained for the eighth time in 9 video games, enhancing its NBA-best report to 21-5. The Suns — who got here into the sport with the very best report in a crowded Western Convention race — misplaced for the third time in 4 video games.
Tatum mentioned that after a pair tough journeys to Phoenix over the previous couple years that led to losses, there was a selected emphasis on this sport.
“We remembered that,” Tatum mentioned. “That was contemporary on our minds. We wished a unique consequence.”
The anticipated showdown between two of the league’s prime groups by no means materialized with the Celtics main by 45 factors. The Celtics took a 31-21 lead after one quarter over the cold-shooting Suns, who missed all eight of their 3-point makes an attempt.
It solely bought worse for Phoenix.
“We didn’t compete the way in which we wanted to compete tonight,” Suns heart Deandre Ayton mentioned.
Boston continued to construct its lead within the second, taking a 69-42 lead into the break. Brown led the Celtics with 17 factors within the first half, whereas Tatum had 14. Grant Williams and Brogdon each added 12.
“Phoenix is a superb staff and I believed the way in which we performed confirmed the respect we had for them,” Mazzulla mentioned.
The second half was primarily an afterthought. Tatum hit a free throw with 7:01 left within the third to push Boston’s benefit to 40.
Phoenix’s evening was summed up within the third quarter when Mikal Bridges, Chris Paul and Devin Booker all tried to seize a unfastened ball, solely to collectively bobble it away into the palms of Boston’s Marcus Good, who scored a simple layup.
“It seems like that sport ought to depend as two losses, however the good factor is it’s nonetheless just one,” Booker mentioned.
Later, the three-time All-Star added: “You may’t blame scheme, you’ll be able to’t blame rotation or something on coach. Now we have to take a look at the mirror as a staff and we have now to repair it.”
The Suns welcomed again Paul, who missed the previous 14 video games with a sore proper heel. That’s excellent news for the staff’s long-term prognosis, however having the 12-time All-Star on the court docket didn’t assist a lot on Wednesday.
Josh Okogie led the Suns with a career-high 28 factors off the bench, whereas Booker added 17. Paul completed with 4 factors, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 24 minutes.
The Celtics have one other massive sport forward of them on Saturday, once they journey to face the Warriors. Boston misplaced to Golden State in six video games within the Finals final season.
Celtics: F Al Horford missed the sport after getting into the league’s well being and security protocol … Brogdon returned after lacking one sport due to a non-COVID sickness. … Luke Kornet had 12 factors on 6 of 6 capturing. Grant Williams additionally made all six of his pictures and completed with 14 factors.
Suns: F Torrey Craig (proper groin) was again within the beginning lineup after lacking three video games. … Hosted a sellout crowd for the forty first consecutive sport. … Shot simply 8 of 32 (25%) from 3-point vary. … Okogie made 8 of 14 pictures, together with 4 of 6 from 3-point vary.
Celtics: At Golden State on Saturday evening.
Suns: At New Orleans on Friday evening.
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a