Jayson Tatum scored 26 of his 31 factors within the first half in a 139-110 blowout of host Memphis on Sunday that, coupled with Milwaukee’s loss at Cleveland earlier within the day, powered the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed.
Boston (51-31) closed out a robust last two-plus months to the 2021-22 common season with a wire-to-wire win over the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed, albeit a shorthanded Grizzlies bunch.
Memphis (56-26), having clinched its playoff place greater than every week in the past, didn’t play the standard beginning 5 of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Steven Adams, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks. The Grizzlies as an alternative began Ziaire Wiliams, Kyle Anderson, Xavier Tillman, De’Anthony Melton and John Konchar.
The Celtics took benefit, pushing the first-quarter result in as many as 10 factors. Tatum scored 14 factors within the opening interval to set the tempo, then pumped in one other 12 in a second quarter Boston gained 40-24.
Tatum completed at 11-of-14 capturing from the ground in simply 26:03 performed, main the Celtics to a 54.5 % efficiency at 54 of 99.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 11, 2022
The guests went into intermission with a 23-point lead and inflated it to as many as 33 within the second half.
Jaylen Brown scored 18 factors for Boston, Al Horford added 13 and Daniel Theis recorded a double-double of 11 factors and 10 rebounds. Payton Pritchard and Luke Kornet chipped in 12 and 10 factors off the bench.
Sunday’s win put an exclamation level on a outstanding midseason turnaround for the Celtics. After falling a sport under .500 on Jan. 21, Boston completed 28-7 to vault into the East’s second spot.
As a outcome, the Celtics will face the winner of Tuesday’s play-in matchup between Brooklyn and Cleveland. Cleveland’s 133-115 win over Milwaukee on Sunday opened the door for Boston to clinch the No. 2 seed.
Santi Aldama led Memphis with a career-high 20 factors off the bench and grabbed 10 rebounds to match a career-high in a double-double. Williams scored 18, and Konchar recorded a triple-double of 17 factors, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Grizzlies will face Tuesday’s play-in winner between Minnesota and the Los Angeles Clippers within the first spherical.
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