NBA

Tatum scores season-high 51 in Celtics victory, Curry carries the Warriors

By Sports Desk January 16, 2023

Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 51 points to propel the Boston Celtics to a 130-118 win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

With fellow Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown out with an injury, Tatum produced the seventh 50-point performance of his career, shooting 15-of-23 from the field, seven-of-12 from deep and 14-of-14 from the free throw line.

In doing so, Tatum set the Celtics' franchise record for most regular season 50-point games with his fifth, and also added nine rebounds and five assists, while Derrick White contributed 19 points (five-of-11 shooting) and eight assists as he filled in for Brown in the starting line-up.

Jalen McDaniels was impressive for the Hornets, scoring a season-high 26 points on nine-of-15 shooting, while LaMelo Ball was inefficient for his 25 points (eight-of-23) and six assists.

With the win, the Celtics improved their streak to seven games and their league-best record to 33-12. They also own the NBA's best road record at 16-7.

Curry heroics deliver rare road win for the Warriors

Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry put on a show in his side's 127-118 away victory against the Washington Wizards.

Trailing 106-105 with less than six minutes on the clock, Curry went on to match the Wizards the rest of the way, scoring 12 of his 41 points while the home side could only put up 12 points as a team.

He shot 12-of-28 from the field for 41 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Poole shot 12-of-20 for 32 points and seven rebounds.

It was a rare good night away from home for the now 22-22 Warriors, who at 5-17 own the second-worst road record in the league, while their 17-5 home record is tied for the fourth-best.

Jazz rookie shines as Rudy Gobert replacement

The Utah Jazz appear to have unearthed another towering defensive presence at center as rookie Walker Kessler dominated in a 126-125 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kessler, the 22nd pick in the most recent NBA Draft, is already one of the league's best shot-blockers, sitting fourth in blocks at 2.0 per game and fourth in blocks-per-36 minutes at 3.6 per game.

It was only the ninth start from his 43 appearances this season, and he put up 20 points (nine-of-13), 21 rebounds (nine offensive), four assists and two blocks in a comprehensive performance.

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    After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the week, New Orleans clinched the Western Conference's No.8 seed on Friday by overcoming the Sacramento Kings 105-98.

    Brandon Ingram scored 24 points while Jonas Valanciunas added 19 with 12 rebounds.

    Victory also saw the Pelicans, who were without Zion Williamson due to a hamstring injury, beat the Kings for the sixth time this campaign, and they will now face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.

    "We deserve it," Pelicans forward Nance Jr. said.

    "That's how we felt coming into this game, and that's how we felt going into the last game. You don't win 49 games by accident; that doesn't happen.

    "You don't just slip and do that in a historic conference. We're a really good team, and we deserve to be here. We showed that tonight, and we're proud to be going to Oklahoma."

    Ingram, meanwhile, was on top form having recently returned from injury.

    "It's been one my healthiest seasons, and I was out for three weeks just watching and just trying to stay disciplined," Ingram said.

    "It's hard just trying to stay disciplined, trying to stay locked in knowing I wanted to be out on the floor. I was losing some of my conditioning a little bit and just trying to stay ready.

    "That was three weeks that passed, and I was just coming in and trying to play 30 minutes after all that and be locked in. I was, of course, hard on myself because I didn't think it mattered that I just came off the knee injury. Those first two games didn't go how I wanted to go, but I just wanted to give it all tonight and trust my teammates, trust my stuff, and we ended up winning.

    "I thought I could control the game. I thought I controlled the game the first quarter, the second quarter. And I knew that it was about time for us to go on a run."

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    De’Aaron Fox poured in 35 points and Domantas Sabonis had 23 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists but the Kings shot just 40.9 percent (36 of 88) from the field and misfired on 30 of 41 (26.8 percent) from 3-point range.

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    Speaking at his exit interview on Thursday, Kerr spoke of the difficulties of breaking up great teams and said he was keen to continue working with the Warriors' 'big three'. 

    "It's rarely a storybook," Kerr said. "Even the '96 or '98 Bulls, the team was broken up and we won the championship in our last year but there was a documentary about what a disaster the whole thing was. It's impossible for this stuff to end perfectly.

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    Much of the Warriors' season was overshadowed by discussions regarding Green's ill-discipline, with the forward being ejected four times in 2023-24.

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