Jayson Tatum and Al Horford Lead Boston Celtics to Victory over Cleveland Cavaliers in Impressive Fashion

On Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics claimed a 117-113 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in a closely contested match. The win was due in large part to the impressive performances of Celtics’ stars Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, who both had big evenings on the court.

Tatum, in particular, was a force to be reckoned with, scoring 41 points on 13-for-21 shooting, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range and 11-for-14 at the free-throw line. His dominant performance marked a significant improvement from his recent struggles since the All-Star break.

After the game, Tatum credited his success to his ability to get some easy baskets early in the game. “A layup in transition, getting downhill finishing at the basket, it just kind of opens things up,” he said. “It’s not like I was discouraged or worried because I hadn’t shot the ball that great coming out of the break. Just came here with a mindset trying to find a way to win.”

Tatum’s scoring outburst also helped him surpass Giannis Antetokounmpo for seventh all-time in points scored before a player turns 25, a significant achievement as he celebrates his 25th birthday on Friday.

However, Tatum’s impressive performance has raised concerns about his workload and minutes played. Reporters asked him and Celtics’ head coach Joe Mazzulla about the star’s playing time, as his usage has been a concern this season. Tatum acknowledged the importance of rest and sports science statistics, but he also expressed his love for playing and competing on the court.

“The organization, Brad, sometimes wants me to play a little bit less, so we have conversations,” Tatum said. “It’s as simple as I just love being out there, I love playing, I love competing, I love trying to win as much as I can.”

Mazzulla has adjusted Tatum’s substitution patterns to give him three stints off the floor instead of two, and he played 35 minutes against the Cavaliers, below his season-average of 37.3. However, the Celtics may need to take a firm stance on rest and workload management if trainers believe that Tatum could benefit from some time off the court.

In addition to Tatum’s performance, Al Horford also had a standout game, shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 6-for-8 from behind the arc. Horford’s three-point shooting was particularly impressive, as several of his triples helped to stop various Cavaliers runs in their tracks.

Horford has been taking more three-pointers than ever before this season, with 65% of his shots coming from behind the arc. This places him in the 98th percentile for his position league-wide, a testament to his versatility and ability to reinvent his game. “He’s constantly trying to find small ways to reinvent his game,” Mazzulla said. “What he does, you can’t even put into words what he is for our team.”

Another standout player in the game was Robert Williams, who looked much more like himself in 30 minutes on the court. Three of his four field goals were alley-oops, showcasing his impressive athleticism and finishing ability. Williams finished the game 4-for-4 with 11 points and 11 rebounds, a strong performance that bodes well for the Celtics’ frontcourt depth.

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