NBA roundup: Celtics' Tatum overshadows milestone for Durant, Bucks win again
Boston, Massachusetts - Jayson Tatum produced a dominant display with 54 points as the Boston Celtics won 126-120 over the Brooklyn Nets, who had the rare partnership of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving available on Sunday.
Durant and Irving teamed up for only the fourth time this season but their presence could not deny Tatum's brilliance, as he shot 16-of-30 from the field and eight-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Tatum, who scored 34 points in the second half, led the Celtics' late charge as they won after trailing by one point at the final change.
Durant scored 37 points in his second game back from an MCL sprain which kept him out since mid-January, becoming the 23rd player to reach 25,000 career NBA points. The 2014 MVP admitted the milestone was "pretty cool" but pointed out that it should be more, referring to injuries during his career.
"It's pretty cool," Durant told reporters after Sunday's loss. "I should be at 30 [thousand] right now, to be honest. But it's cool, it's cool to reach that milestone and be amongst the greats and I just got to keep pushing and keep going and see where I end up."
Irving, meanwhile, only managed 19 points with four rebounds and six assists for the Nets who slip to 32-33, while the Celtics have won 21 of their past 27 games to improve to 39-27.
Around the league
Khris Middleton scored a season-high 44 points as Giannis Antetokounmpo took a back seat in the Milwaukee Bucks' 132-122 win over the Phoenix Suns, who were missing both Chris Paul (thumb) and Devin Booker (protocols).
The Bucks, who have won four straight, stormed home with a 12-1 run over the last three minutes as Antetokounmpo got into foul trouble.
The Houston Rockets snapped their 12-game losing run with a shock 123-112 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, for whom Ja Morant scored 22 points with six assists.
The Utah Jazz closed on Memphis in the west with a 116-103 win at the Oklahoma City Thunder as Bojan Bogdanovic hit a franchise-record 11 three-pointers for his 35 points.
Nikola Jokić scored 46 points, including 30 in the fourth quarter, as the Denver Nuggets won 138-130 over the New Orleans Pelicans in over-time. Jokic had 46 points plus 12 rebounds, and 11 assists as the Nugs rallied after squandering a 21-point lead.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won 104-96 over the Toronto Raptors but lost Jarrett Allen indefinitely to a suspected fractured finger. Rookie Evan Mobley had 20 points with 17 rebounds for the Cavs, who are 37-27.
A seven-game slump finally came to an end for the New York Knicks, who got a 116-93 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire