Washington—Jayson Tatum scored 37 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Wednesday to spark the NBA-leading Boston Celtics to a 125-112 victory over visiting Dallas despite 42 points from Luka Doncic.
The Celtics, whose nine-game win streak was snapped Monday at Chicago, bounced back by dominating the Mavericks, improving to 7-1 in Boston and an NBA-best 14-4 overall.
“I think we were locked in from the beginning,” Tatum said. “Losing to Chicago made us regroup and refocus.
“We just knew they were a really talented team. Luka is the head of the snake. It was good to come home and get back in the win column.”
It was Tatum’s 10th career game with 35 points and 10 rebounds. He made 11-of-24 from the floor and 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
In a showdown of early season NBA Most Valuable Player candidates, league scoring leader Doncic countered with a game-high point total on 17-of-28 shooting and five-of-9 from the line. The Slovenian guard also had nine assists and eight rebounds.
“Everybody knows how talented and special he is,” Tatum said. “He can do so many things on the court. He’s somebody I respect and like competing against.”
The Celtics led 70-49 at halftime and by double figures from late in the first quarter until Doncic sparked a late rally to pull Dallas within 114-105 with 3:43 remaining.
Al Horford answered with a 3-pointer to ignite a 10-2 Boston run and Dallas never came within 13 again.
The Sacramento Kings saw their seven-game win streak snapped as Trae Young scored 35 points to lead the host Atlanta Hawks to a 115-106 victory.
Domantas Sabonis had 15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to spark Sacramento (10-7). Clint Capela pulled down 14 rebounds for the Hawks (11-7).
Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over Portland 114-96 and stretch their win streak to four games.