Celtics

BSJ Game Report: Celtics 141, Clippers 133 (2OT) – Tatum, Hayward hold off Clips in instant classic

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know about the Celtics' 141-133 win over the Clippers with BSJ insight and analysis 

Box Score

HEADLINES

Tatum erupts in an instant classic: Jayson Tatum finished two points shy of his career-high with 39 points and Marcus Smart added 31 points, helping the Celtics grind out a win in a double-overtime classic on Thursday night. Tatum was at his best in crunch time, scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter and both overtime frames combined, outplaying Kawhi Leonard (only 5 of his 28 points came in 4th qtr and overtimes), putting together arguably his best two-way performance in a Celtics uniform.

Five players scored in double figures in the win overall with the starting five combining for 122 points on the night. Gordon Hayward added 21 points and 13 rebounds including several big plays in the final minutes of double overtime to lock down the game for the C’s. Lou Williams had a team-high 35 points for the Clippers but needed 33 shot attempts to get there.

Celtics win 11 of 13 heading into the All-Star Break: The schedule has been unforgiving over the past month with no more than one day off between games for nearly six weeks but the C’s have navigated that brutal slate and injuries (Brown sat with a sore calf on Thursday) to a terrific run of basketball leading into the All-Star Break. Boston has won 11 of their past 13 games and has also earned home wins now over the five best teams in the league during the first half of the season. The schedule remains tough for the rest of February but there has been enough quality wins in this stretch for this group to feel mighty confident about their ability to compete with anyone this postseason. Their best five players can go toe-to-toe with anyone and the consistency that was needed for this group back in January has arrived now, seemingly for good.

TURNING POINT