Jayson Tatum scored 40 points, Jaylen Brown added 30 and the Boston Celtics steamrolled the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks 140-99 on Thursday night.
The Celtics (53-24) shot 22 of 43 from 3-point range and moved within two games of the Bucks (55-22) in the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics won the season series 2-1, giving Boston the tiebreaker.
Boston’s performance in those three games with Milwaukee should give the Celtics plenty of confidence they could knock out the Bucks again if they meet in the postseason. The Celtics beat the Bucks in seven games last season in the East semifinals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 24 points in their most-lopsided loss of the season. They were playing a night after a 149-136 victory at Indiana in which they shot a season-high 62.4%.
PELICANS 107, NUGGETS 88
DENVER (AP) — Brandon Ingram had 31 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season and New Orleans Pelicans took advantage of Nikola Jokic’s absence to beat Denver Nuggets.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 12 rebounds and CJ McCollum scored 23 points for New Orleans. The Pelicans tied Minnesota for seventh in the West with their sixth victory in seven games.
Jokic was in street clothes due to lingering calf tightness that bothered him Monday night in a victory over Philadelphia. Jamal Murray had 21 points for Denver, and Bruce Brown added 19. The Nuggets lead in the Western Conference dropped to three games over Memphis with six to play.