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Tatum, Brown sizzle, Celtics cruise to 125-97 win over Jazz

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BOSTON (AP) Jayson Tatum scored 11 of his 26 points in Boston’s nearly perfect first quarter to help the Celtics beat the Utah Jazz 125-97 on Wednesday night.

Jaylen Brown also added 26 points and Marcus Smart finished with a career-high 13 assists as Boston recorded its fifth straight win to improve its chances of becoming a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.

Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points, but Utah has lost consecutive games for the first time since late January, a span of 21 games.

Boston made its first 10 shots of the game, including six 3-pointers, en route to taking a 28-12 lead. His first miss didn’t come until 4:05 into the first quarter, when Brown’s layup went off the rim.

It was one of the few mistakes for the Celtics, who finished the period with a 39-24 lead. They went 15-for-19 from the field, 7-for-9 from beyond the arc and held a 12-2 rebounding advantage.

The lead grew to 30 in the second quarter and Boston took a 68-45 lead at halftime. Smart finished the half with 10 assists in just 15 minutes of action.

The Jazz did their best to keep up, but just couldn’t get enough shots to go down. They struggled particularly from the outside, shooting 8-for-36 from 3-point range. Utah also had just 13 assists on 35 baskets made.

Utah never got closer to 18 in the second half.


Jazz: Had just seven assists on 17 shots from the field in the first half. . Udoka Azubuike (sprained right ankle), Bojan Bogdanovic (sprained left calf), Danuel House (bruised left knee) were left out.

Celtics: It was the 18th straight game that Tatum scored at least 20 points. . He had 13 assists in the first quarter. .


Jazz: Continue the six-game road trip at Charlotte on Friday.

Celtics: Host Minnesota on Sunday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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