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    Jayson Tatum nails six of Celtics’ 19 triples in rout of Nuggets

    Mar 21, 2022
    Jayson Tatun
    Jayson Tatum shoots 11 for 17, going 6 for 10 from beyond the arc.
    PHOTO: AP

    DENVER — Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 30 points and the sizzling Boston Celtics beat the Denver Nuggets, 124-104, on Sunday night (Monday, Manila time).

    The Celtics shot 57.3 percent from the floor and finished 19 of 40 from beyond the arc. They also hit all 11 of their free throws.

    The Nuggets couldn't nearly keep up. They got 23 points from Nikola Jokic, shot 40.2% from the floor and hit 14 of 39 from long-range.

    Tatum and Payton Pritchard each hit four 3-pointers before the break, sparking the Celtics on a 46-21 run to close out the first half. Boston scored its last 15 points of the second quarter on 3-pointers, and Tatum's half-court heave at the buzzer rimmed out.

    Pritchard added a 3 in the closing minutes, finishing 5 of 5 from behind the arc before adding a late layup to finish with 17 points. Grant Williams added 13.

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    Jokic led the Nuggets in scoring, but the reigning MVP missed 14 shots in the first half and finished 8 of 23 from the floor.

    The Celtics outshot Denver 64.3% to 30.6% in the first half, and their bench outscored the Nuggets' reserves by a whopping 29-14.

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    Nuggets coach Michael Malone made a statement by starting the second half with his bench players on the court — Austin Rivers, Bones Hyland, DeMarcus Cousins, Davon Reed and JaMychal Green.

    The Celtics called a timeout 1:17 into the third quarter when the Nuggets' backups started the second half on a 7-2 run. After a timeout, Boston settled in again, and the Celtics resumed their torrid shooting touch, pushing their lead to 90-62 late in the third quarter.

    The Nuggets' worst loss was by 29 points on Nov. 21 when they were run off the court in Phoenix, 126-97.

    Denver trailed by 28 points, but the Nuggets used a 14-4 run to pull to 102-86 on Aaron Gordon's rim-rattling dunk following a steal by Jokic.

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    Aaron Gordon had 13 points for Denver.

    Jaylen BrownJaylen Brown goes 12 for 19 in 34 minutes of action for Boston.

    TIP-INS

    Celtics: F Aaron Nesmith sat out with a sprained right ankle. He hasn't played since March 3 vs. Memphis. ... Boston closed the first quarter on an 11-5 run with Jokic on the bench as Daniel Theis hit a jumper, a 3-pointer after saving an errant pass and an alley-oop dunk before Tatum closed the quarter with an uncontested 3.

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    Nuggets: Jokic led all scorers with a dozen points in the first quarter, but his tough night shooting the ball was already apparent as he went 3 for 8 from the floor. He got colder still in the second quarter, missing all but two of his 11 shots. He finished 8 for 23.

    MURRAY MYSTERY

    Jamal Murray showed up in the third quarter in street clothes. The Nuggets have no idea if their star point guard will suit up anytime soon. Murray recently practiced with the Grand Rapids Gold, their G League affiliate, as he continued his comeback from ACL surgery last spring. Coach Michael Malone said there's no roadmap for Murray's next steps, although returning to Grand Rapids is a possibility.

    DROP-DEAD DATE?

    Malone said he doesn't know if Murray and/or F Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) will be shut down until next season if they're not back on the court by a certain date.

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    "It's a valid question, one that I just don't have an answer to," Malone said.

    UP NEXT

    Boston: Visits Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.

    Denver: Hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

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    Jayson Tatum shoots 11 for 17, going 6 for 10 from beyond the arc.
    PHOTO: AP
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