Jayson Tatum had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 on Thursday night.
The game was the first for the Nets after the loss of Kevin Durant due to a knee injury. Marcus Smart added 16 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, who played without Jaylen Brown due to injury.
Malcolm Brogdon canned 16 points as the NBA-leading Celtics won their fifth straight. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points for the Nets and T.J. Warren added 20 points.
Joe Harris, who started in place of Durant, had 18 points.
In a separate game, the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks were both short-handed in their game, but the Heat emerged victorious with a 108-102 win.
Gabe Vincent had a career-high 28 points, Bam Adebayo added 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat. Victor Oladipo also had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.
The Heat were without several starters, including Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, and Caleb Martin, but still managed to move three games over .500.
The Bucks missed several key players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Serge Ibaka, and Joe Ingles.
Jrue Holiday had 24 points and 11 assists for the Bucks.
Both teams are expected to have more key players back when they play each other again on Saturday.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has set a new goal after hearing that the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will have an NBA-record crowd of about 68,000 fans at their game on Friday night.
He wants to see a crowd of 100,000 at a game. He suggests the idea of holding an outdoor game in South Florida, specifically at loanDepot Park, home of baseball’s Miami Marlins, which has a retractable roof and a listed capacity of about 37,000.
“One of these days we’ve got to do something outside and pack 100,000 down here in south Florida,” Spoelstra said in an Associated Press report. “Let’s do that. Make that happen.”
However, it is unclear if the NBA will take this notion seriously. In the past, the league has held a few preseason games outdoors and the WNBA played a regular-season game at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2008.
The Boston Celtics secured a 109-98 victory over Brooklyn on Friday (Philippine time), improving their NBA-leading record and widening the gap over the Nets in the Eastern Conference standings.BOSTON CELTICS FACEBOOK/NBA PHOTOS
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a strong performance in their win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, winning 133-114.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 points and Josh Giddey had 20 points, leading the team to victory. This was an important win for the Thunder, as they had struggled on the road this season, but this win shows that they can compete with some of the best teams in the league.
Jaylin Williams and Tre Mann also contributed 14 points each. The win also avenged a 19-point loss to the 76ers in December and marked a strong comeback after a one-point loss to Miami. Coach Mark Daigneault praised the team’s aggressive and attacking mindset.