Young NBA stars Jayson Tatum and Zach Lavine broke their scoring records with 53 and 50 points on Friday in the victory of the Boston Celtics and the defeat of the Chicago Bulls.
The Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, last in the Western Conference, 145-136 in overtime, with Tatum entering the history books of Boston, the NBA’s most winning franchise alongside the Lakers.
At 23, the forward became the youngest Celtics player to exceed 50 points, a score that only one franchise player has surpassed, the legendary Larry Bird, who achieved 60 points in 1985.
“It’s a bit difficult to put into words. Every time you are mentioned in any category with someone like that, one of the best players in history, it is an honor,” said Tatum, who played his second All-Star Game in February ( All-Star).
The forward reached 53 points with a stat of 16/25 in field goals and also added 6 triples, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 41 minutes.
Tatum’s display and a good night from Jaylen Brown / 26 points) and Marcus Smart (24) managed to defeat a revitalized Timberwolves in overtime since the return of point guard D’Angelo Russell after his injury.
Russell finished with 26 points and 8 assists and center Karl-Anthony Towns with 30 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota.
– Third highest score at halftime in 20 years –
Simultaneous to Tatum’s display, guard Zach Lavine reached 50 points in his Chicago Bulls’ 120-108 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Lavine, 26, had a spectacular duel with the young Hawks point guard Trae Young, who reached 42 points and 9 assists.
The Bulls’ All-Star guard was especially inspired in the first half, in which he scored 39 points, the highest mark in the first two quarters of any player this season.
Only Kobe Bryant (42 points) and Klay Thompson (40) had scored higher in the first half of an NBA game in the last 20 years.
“I just got into the groove,” LaVine said afterward. “My 3s started to come in and then I was able to reach middle distance and reach the basket.”
The Hawks defense was not able to stop Lavine when attacking in transition or static, with 7 triples at halftime.
In the resumption Atlanta adjusted the marking on the guard, who lowered his productivity with a gray last quarter in which he lost balls and was blocked by the imposing Clint Capela (22 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks).
“We had to change the game plan a bit, of course,” Italian power forward Danilo Gallinari said. “LaVine had an incredible first half. We were much more aggressive with him trying to get the ball out of his hands.”
The Hawks took the lead for the first time at the end of the third quarter and sentenced at the hands of Young and Gallinari, who scored 15 of their 20 points in the final quarter.
– Denver scores eighth straight win –
Led by Serbian center Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets added their eighth straight win by defeating the San Antonio Spurs by a tight 121-119.
Jokic, one of the candidates for the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award, added another triple-double with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists while the young Michael Porter Jr. had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
In his second consecutive game as a starter due to the loss of Jamal Murray, Argentine guard Facundo Campazzo added 9 points and 4 assists in 23 minutes on the court.
The Nuggets, who have already surpassed the Los Angeles Lakers, continue to stalk the third place in the West held by the Clippers, who this Friday beat the Houston Rockets, penultimate in the conference, by a comfortable 126-109, with 31 points from Kawhi Leonard.
Results of Friday’s NBA matchday:
Orlando Magic – Indiana Pacers 106-111
Boston Celtics – Minnesota Timberwolves 145-136 (prórroga)
New York Knicks – Memphis Grizzlies 133-129 (prórroga)
Atlanta Hawks – Chicago Bulls 120-108
New Orleans Pelicans – Philadelphia 76ers 101-94
Milwaukee Bucks – Charlotte Hornets 119-127
Denver Nuggets – San Antonio Spurs 121-119
Golden State Warriors – Washington Wizards 107-110
LA Clippers – Houston Rockets 126-109