BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 37 points, Jayson Tatum added 26 and the Boston Celtics powered past the Phoenix Suns 127-112 on Thursday night.

Al Horford finished with 24 points, including six of Boston’s season high-tying 25 3-pointers to help the Celtics down the Suns for the second time in week. Boston improved to an NBA-best 52-14.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 23 points. Bradley Beal finished with 22 points and seven assists. Kevin Durant and Grayson Allen both added 20 points.

Last week, the Celtics overpowered a Suns team playing without Booker (ankle) during a double-digit win in Phoenix, despite a 45-point night by Durant.

Durant came out hot again in Thursday’s rematch. But Booker started slowly before finishing 9 of 20 from the field. Meanwhile, the All-Star duo of Tatum and Brown combined for 43 of the Celtics’ 65 first-half points.

Tatum was in attack mode for most of the opening 24 minutes, leading a Celtics flurry just before halftime by scoring seven of his team’s final 10 points. That included back-to-back 3s over Durant that sent roars throughout the home crowd. He also was one of the primary defenders on Durant, limiting him to only five points over the final three quarters.

Tatum and Durant dueled early, trading baskets in the opening period, with each showing off multiple ways to break down the opposing defense. Durant had 15 first-quarter points, connecting on 7 of 8 shots. Tatum poured in 13 points, going 6 for 9 from the field.

It all helped offset Phoenix’s 27-13 rebounding edge in the first half.


Suns: At Hornets on Friday.

Celtics: At Wizards on Sunday.



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