NBA: Celtics overtake Spurs, trail Bucks on leaderboard

Jaylen Brown Celtics NBA

FILE – Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics stands on the field during a game against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center on March 21, 2023 in Sacramento, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Jaylen Brown hit 41 points and picked up 13 rebounds as the Boston Celtics moved closer to an NBA best record with a 137-93 home win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

The Celtics (52-23) entered Sunday’s game as 2nd in the Eastern Conference standings, two games behind idle Milwaukee. The Bucks have the best record in the league (53-21).

Malcolm Brogdon added 20 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds for the Celtics, who also received 19 points and 8 rebounds from Derrick White.

Zach Collins leads San Antonio with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Malaki Branham finished with 15 points for Spurs.

San Antonio had an early 72–66 lead in the third round, but Boston had a 96–77 lead after three quarters and a 31 lead midway through the fourth.

The Spurs (19-56) have dropped to 6-31 in the road games and are battling Houston to stay out of the Western Conference vault. San Antonio has lost four straight games and lost six of the last seven.

Each team does not have its own top scorer. Boston’s Jayson Tatum was scratched about an hour before Sunday’s game from a wound to his left hip. Tatum is averaging 30.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists. This is the sixth game he has missed this season.

San Antonio is without Keldon Johnson due to a leg injury. Johnson scored 30 points and won 10 rebounds in a 136-124 loss Friday night to Washington. This is the eighth time he has scored at least 30 points in a game this season and his fifth double.

Johnson, who was sidelined for two games earlier in the week with a neck strain, is averaging 22 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Spurs lead 32-30 after halftime, but Celtics lead 68-58 after halftime. Brown had 26 points in the first half.

The Celtics beat the Spurs 121-116 on January 7, the only meeting between the two teams this season.


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