Tatum Scores 34 Points, Leads Celtics To 131-91 Win Over Grizzlies

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA News
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum led the way with 34 points, guiding the Boston Celtics to a commanding 131-91 win during Sunday’s NBA action over the Memphis Grizzlies, significantly hampered by injuries.

The Celtics, looking to bounce back from a recent loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, took advantage of the Grizzlies’ depleted roster, down to eight players due to a lengthy injury list.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla praised his team’s performance and mindset, emphasizing that the game unfolded as expected, with the team playing to their strengths and executing their game plan effectively.

“I thought we did our job,” Mazzulla said when asked about his team’s response. “I thought the game went how it was supposed to go. I thought we played well, we executed, and we came with the right mindset.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Kristaps Porzingis contributed 26 points, with Derrick White and Al Horford adding 15 and 11 points, respectively, helping Boston to enhance their impressive home record to 23-3 at the TD Garden. Apart from his scoring prowess, Tatum also contributed eight rebounds, seven assists, and a 50% shooting rate from beyond the arc.

The Celtics’ bench saw significant action in the fourth quarter, reflecting the team’s depth and their sizable lead. On the contrary, despite the odds, Scotty Pippen Jr. emerged as the top scorer for the Grizzlies with 19 points, supported by GG Jackson and David Roddy, who scored 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins commended his team for stepping up in the face of adversity and competing against the league’s top team.

“These guys have been ready for this opportunity,” Jenkins said about the short bench. ”They stepped out and I thought they played great tonight. … This was fun watching them play against the best team in the NBA.”

The game also served as a moment to honor Marcus Smart, a former Celtic, who was recognized for his community contributions in Boston with the “Hero Among Us” award.

“It was good to see him today,” Horford said. “My time here with him was very special. One of the reasons I came here originally in 2016 was Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

A video tribute and chants from the fans highlighted his impact on the team and the city, marking an emotional moment for both Smart and the Celtics community.

“It was cool to see,” Tatum said. “I’m surprised he didn’t cry.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Smart had a packed pre-game press conference to discuss his return to Boston, praising the city for his experience while playing for the Celtics.

“There’s nothing like playing in this place, playing in this city,” Smart said. “These fans, they allowed me to grow. … Boston is a second home for me.”

Looking ahead, the Grizzlies are set to face the New York Knicks, while the Celtics will host the Atlanta Hawks, as both teams continue their campaigns.

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