The Celtics collective took over from star Jayson Tatum, hardly successful, to overcome the Grizzlies (119-109) and contain their nugget Ja Morant, Sunday in the NBA.
Super Bowl day requires, the program was minimal with only one other game between Toronto and Detroit. On their floor, the Canadians won by a small point (119-118).
But the poster was the Boston-Memphis duel, between the undisputed leader in the East and the Denver runner-up in the West.
If the Celtics broke away from 15 lengths before the break, the Grizzlies were able to come back up in the third quarter. Everything had to be redone for last season’s finalist, who was able to speak about his experience in the moment of truth, like veteran winger Al Horford (16 pts, 9 rebounds) author of a 3 / 3 to the prize-winning baskets in the money-time.
In total, eight of the nine players lined up in the ranks of Boston have scored at least ten points, Derrick White being the most prolific (23 pts, 10 assists).
A boon for Jayson Tatum, the only one of the three valid stars because Jaylen Brown suffers from a facial fracture and Marcus Smart treats a painful ankle. The winger was clumsy (3/16 on shots) for 16 points scored (7 rebounds, 2 blocks).
– VanVleet assures –
Boston also built its victory inside, with no less than 14 offensive rebounds captured, five in the last quarter, which constituted as many opportunities for baskets with a second chance.
Memphis side, Ja Morant (25 pts, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) put his team back in the saddle in the 3rd quarter, without however weighing more then.
In Toronto, Fred VanVleet scored 35 points to lead the Raptors to victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Pascal Siakam scored 22 points (out of 28 in total) in the second half to allow Toronto to resist the return of Detroit at the end of the game.
The Raptors went up to 14 points before a 13-5 run by the Pistons in the last minute and a half of the game.
Despite Bojan Bogdanovic (33 points) and Alec Burks (21 pts), Detroit could not repeat its feat (victory after two overtime) on Friday against the San Antonio Spurs.