NBA: Celtics rip Suns, continue dominance over West
The Boston Celtics looked like the best team in the NBA on Wednesday night, showing off a dominant effort down the road by beating the Phoenix Suns 125-98.
Five players scored double that for the Celtics, who led by 45 points with 5:30 left in the third half.
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum of Boston each scored the top 25 for the team. Brown added seven bounces and three assists. Tatum also has 5 bounces, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
The Celtics received 16 points from Malcom Brogdon, 14 from Grant Williams and 12 from Luke Kornet. Blake Griffin added 9 points and 9 rebounds highest in the game.
Boston raised its road record to 10-3 and improved to 7-0 against the Western Conference teams. The Suns lost with a score of 12-3 at home.
Jayson Tatum Jaylen Brown
The @celtics The duo were locked in for their 3rd win in a row!
@jaytatum0: 25 points, 5 REB, 2 STL
@FCHWPO: 25 points, 7 REB pic.twitter.com/3r8amrIUi2
– NBA (@NBA) December 8, 2022
“We really connect with each other,” said Tatum. “We are just making the right plays. We hit a lot of shots tonight.
The Celtics, which lost to Golden State in the NBA Finals last season, improved to 10-3 on the road.
“We’re happy with the way we’re playing,” Tatum said. “But we are far from satisfied. This doesn’t make any sense if we don’t get back to where we want to be (NBA Finals) and get over that hump.
“It’s been a long process but we’re on the right track.”
Josh Okogie scored the highest 28 points in the game for Phoenix. Devin Booker (17), Cameron Payne (12) and Torrey Craig (11) also scored twice as many goals for the Suns. Phoenix shoots 39.8% from the field (37 of 93) and 25% from 3-point (8 to 32). The Suns also committed to 18 passes.
Phoenix’s keeper Chris Paul, a 12-time NBA All-Star champion, is back on the field after missing his last 14 games with a heel injury. He ended Wednesday’s game with four points, four assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes.
Paul, 37, was injured in a November 7 game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He entered Wednesday’s game averaging 9.5 points and 9.4 assists in 10 games this season. The Suns won 9-5 in his absence.
Boston led 31-21 after one inning, 69-42 after halftime and 104-65 entering the fourth inning. Phoenix hit 35.4% from the floor (17 of 48) in the first half, when the ratio was 1 in 16 on 3-point efforts.
Boston competed without starting center Al Horford, who entered the NBA’s health and safety procedures on Wednesday.
It was the third of the Celtics’ six-game trip, which improved to 3-0 on the trip.
School-level media/with reports from Agence France-Presse
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