LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Boston’s bench came up big Wednesday to help the Celtics notch an eighth straight NBA victory, 126-101, over the Hawks in Atlanta.
Trail Blazers 117, Spurs 110
Pacers 125, Hornets 113
Thunder 121, Wizards 120
T-Wolves 126, Magic 108
Celtics 126, Hawks 101
Raptors 112, Heat 104
Pelicans 124, Bulls 110
Bucks 113, Cavaliers 98
Rockets 101, Mavericks 92
Knicks 106, Nuggets 103
Suns 130, Warriors 119
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 22 points and his fellow All-Star Jayson Tatum added 19, but Brown said it was the 44 points from the Boston reserves that ultimately made the difference.
“We got some big plays, some great energy from guys coming off the bench,” Brown said. “We’ve got a really good team from top to bottom.”
The Celtics took their league-leading record to 12-3 while the team that beat them to the title in last season’s Finals, the Golden State Warriors, fell to 6-9 with a 130-119 loss to the Suns in Phoenix.
Golden State star Stephen Curry poured in 50 points, but with little offensive aid for Curry and lackluster defense the Warriors fell to 0-8 on the road ˗ their worst road start since they went 0-9 in 1989.
Cameron Payne, standing in again for injured All-Star point guard Chris Paul, led the Suns with a career-high 29 points, Devin Booker added 27 and Mikal Bridges chipped in 23.
Curry did what he could to set an early tone, scoring 31 points in the first half. But Golden State trailed 72-65 at the break, and the Suns opened the third quarter on a 6-0 scoring run to push their lead to 13 points.
Phoenix, who made 21 three-pointers and shot 51.2% from the field, led by 14 going into the final period on the way to their second win over the Warriors this season.
In Atlanta, the Celtics drained 21 three-pointers and held the Hawks to 41.6% shooting from the floor.
Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet scored 15 points apiece off the bench for Boston and Payton Pritchard added 14, Brown saying the reserves’ effort made up for the injury absences of Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon.
Milwaukee’s reserves made a key contribution, too, as the Bucks handed the Cleveland Cavaliers a fifth straight defeat, 113-98.