NBA

Tatum savours Celtics success as Leonard falters for Clippers

By Sports Desk February 06, 2021

Jayson Tatum savoured a "big team win" as the Boston Celtics condemned the Los Angeles Clippers to a second loss in three games.

His 34-point haul drove the injury-hit Celtics to their 119-115 success at Staples Center, with Kemba Walker adding 24 points.

In response, Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 28 points, five assists and 11 rebounds. That meant he exceeded 20 points for an eighth straight game, but he failed to make a three-pointer for just the third time this season, missing with his five attempts.

Tatum's points haul was his second highest of the season and included five three-pointers from 10 attempts.

The 2017 draft third overall pick was satisfied to see the team make up for their previous defeat, a loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

"I think this is a good win, coming off a loss, down a few guys," Tatum said in a post-game news conference.

"But I think from my time being here, regardless of who we have playing, we always feel like we want to give ourselves a chance to win."

The Celtics improved to 12-9 for the season as the Clippers slipped to 17-7, having also lost narrowly to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Tatum pointed to Boston delving into their squad, with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart both ruled out of the game.

"We've got a lot of talented guys on this team that work extremely hard. When you get your number called it's about being ready," he said.

"It was a big team win in that aspect and I'm proud of those guys."

Asked about taking on Leonard, Tatum responded: "I enjoy those matchups obviously. He's one of the best players, he's accomplished so much."

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