The Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 125-112 on Friday evening behind a phenomenal outing from Jayson Tatum, who amassed 37 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Boston led 34-23 after one quarter and 70-49 at halftime thanks largely to Tatum, who had 23 points at the intermission after dropping 16 in the second quarter alone. Thirteen of those points came in the final four minutes and one second of the frame.
The C's once held a 27-point advantage before settling for the 13-point win. Jaylen Brown complemented Tatum's effort with 31 points to hold off a game effort from Mavs star Luka Dončić, who had a 42-point, nine-assist, eight-rebound outing.
MVP chants erupted for Tatum at multiple points, including late in the fourth quarter, when he had a dunk, a pair of free throws and a block on Dončić that led to a Jaylen Brown slam.
The Celtics are now 14-4 and winners of 10 of their last 11 games. They stand alone as the NBA's top team in basketball right now, and early MVP buzz points to Tatum, who helps lead a deep and talented roster that's very difficult to beat.
Kenny III☘️ @CELTICSvsEvery1
Jayson Tatum at half:<br><br>- 23 Pts<br>- 8 Reb<br>- 2 Ast <br><br>“MVP” chants erupt at TD Garden ☘️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BleedGreen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BleedGreen</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BigDeuce?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BigDeuce</a>
Tatum and the Celtics will now welcome the league's top offense into town when the Sacramento Kings visit Boston on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.