BOSTON (CBS) -- Jayson Tatum bust out of his shooting slump with a monster game on Sunday. While it was great to see Tatum drop 51 on an extremely efficient shooting night, hitting more shots than he misses on a consistent basis has been Tatum's biggest issue this season.
But on Tuesday night, he made it two straight games with stellar shooting, as Tatum led Boston with 36 points in a dominating 128-75 blowout win over the Sacramento Kings. He was 14-for-23 from the floor and 7-for-14 from three-point range, and for the second straight game, Tatum got to watch the majority of the fourth quarter from the Boston bench.
It wasn't long ago that Tatum had missed 20 straight threes. He's now 16-for-28 from downtown over his last two games, which is just the second time all season that Tatum has hit at least 50 percent of his threes in back-to-back games.
Tatum -- and the rest of the Celtics, for that matter -- did whatever he wanted against the undermanned Kings on Tuesday. He made step-back triples with ease, which opened his inside game later in the contest. He added six assists and four rebounds to his stat line, and for the fourth time in his career, has over 80 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a two-game stretch.
Thanks to @BostonSportsInf, we know that the only other Celtics to do that in the team's long history are Larry Bird, who accomplished the feat 11 times, and Paul Pierce, who did it once. Taking any spot between those two Boston greats is a solid place for the 23-year-old Tatum.
Tatum's hot hand was contagious, as the Celtics shot 20-for-45 from three-point range against Sacramento. Jaylen Brown had 30 points of his own, going 5-for-12 from downtown. Through three quarters, Tatum and Brown had outscored the Kings on their own, 66-55.
Tuesday night marked the third time that both parts of Boston's star duo scored 30 points in the same game, and seventh time overall. The Celtics are 7-0 in those games.
It was really a complete team effort for a complete dismantling of an inferior team, something the Celtics have consistently let slip away this season. But there was no slippage against the Kings, and for the second straight game, the Celtics led wire-to-wire. The defense was on-point, shutting down anything the undermanned Kings tried to do. The offense flowed like a well-oiled machine thanks to Boston's exquisite ball movement, which led to 32 Celtics assists on 51 made baskets. Marcus Smart was scoreless, but he led the way for Boston with seven assists. And those helpers only tell part of the story of how Smart got the offense rolling, as he was the true point guard that Boston has needed. Not to be forgotten was another big night for Robert Williams, who tallied 13 points while corralling a game-high 17 rebounds in the win.
With their starting five intact, the Celtics are finally starting to play some good basketball on a consistent basis. Their two straight big wins came against inferior opponents, but are the kinds of games that the Celtics usually let slip away. With the defense locked in and their stars now scoring like stars, and actually making their share of shots, there is a wrinkle of promise surrounding the Celtics.
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