A record Tatum for rested Celtics
What if the Boston revival had only been due to a small gift granted by Brad Stevens? The Massachusetts franchise tech probably got it right by giving his players a day off after their loss to Philadelphia on Thursday (109-98), in what was the franchise’s third straight loss this season. Returning home with renewed energy, the Celtics crushed the New Orleans Pelicans (140-105) on Saturday night, although unable to resist.
Carried by their skill (55% success, including 14/29 at three points) and especially by an untenable Jayson Tatum (41 points – personal best – at 16 out of 22 shooting), the locals widened a first gap on the twelve first minutes (41-24) and put on a layer after the break (42-25 in the third quarter). With the exception of the clumsy Jaylen Brown (13 points at 4 out of 15), all of the C’s major players contributed significantly: 19 points for Gordon Hayward, 17 units and 7 assists for Kemba Walker, and a huge double- double for Enes Kanter (22 points and 19 rebounds, his best marks of the season). Here is Boston, third in the East (26v-11d), revived in a spectacular way with the hope of continuing Monday night against Chicago.
Harden and Westbrook make a pair
If the Houston Rockets took a little longer than the Celtics to take full measure of the Minnesota Timberwolves (139-109) – still deprived of Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) – they were not really worried since being worn by their Harden-Westbrook duo. The two accomplices did not have to force their nature to lead their team to a fourth success in five matches: “The Beard” compiled 32 points (at 8/17), 12 rebounds and 8 assists (11 stray balls however! ) in just 28 minutes of play, while Westbrook finished the game with 30 units, 6 rebounds and 10 assists (33 minutes played).
James Harden broke the 20,000 point mark in the regular season on Saturday night. He is the 45th player in NBA history to achieve this, and the 7th youngest.
The good surprise came from Isaiah Hartenstein, who replaced Clint Capela at the pivot position. The interior, drafted by the Rockets in 2017, validated a big double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds), failing a basket from his season record (19 points two weeks ago against New Orleans). At the end of the meeting, which quickly took a back seat, Westbrook paid tribute to James Harden, who was able to keep the match ball (offered to his mother): ” To have succeeded (20 000 points) playing at a very, very high level is something you don’t take for granted. Growing up in Los Angeles and watching him grow over the years is a blessing as a friend and I’m really happy for him. »