The Boston Celtics ended their home stand on a high note, topping the Timberwolves but now they head west for a showdown with the red hot Denver Nuggets. The Celtics are 27-26 and 7th in the Eastern Conference while the Nuggets are 34-18 and fourth in the Western Conference. The Celtics beat the Nuggets 112-99 back on February 16 in Boston. Can the favored Nuggets return the favor at home?
Tatum gets 53 in winA win is a win and you'll take any win you can get, but when you need to go to overtime, at home, to beat the worst team in the NBA, it's not exactly a confidence booster. But that's what happened Friday as the Celtics survived a scare from the Minnesota Timberwolves, beating them 145-136 in overtime. The win improved their record to 27-26, which puts them in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
☘️ Career-high 53 points.— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2021
☘️ 35 in the 2nd half and OT.
☘️ Jayson. Tatum. pic.twitter.com/RPPDXiY0Mz
The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum, who had a ridiculous night with 53 points and 10 rebounds, draining 6 three pointers. Jaylen Brown added 26 points while Marcus Smart poured in 24 points. The Celtics shot 54% from the floor and drained 19 three pointers. But they turned the ball over 20 times and let the lowly Timberwolves offense torch them for 49% shooting and 135 points.
Denver wins 8th straight gameSometimes midseason trades work out, other times they don't. I think it's safe to say that the move the Nuggets made for Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline worked out. The Nuggets have not moved since they traded for Gordon, winning 8 straight games to improve to 34-18. They have already passed out the Lakers in the Western Conference standings into 4th place and they are just a game behind the third place Clippers.
The Nuggets are coming off a two game sweep of the San Antonio Spurs. They beat the Spurs Wednesday 106-96 and followed that up with a 121-119 win on Friday. Nikola Jokic had a triple double with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists. Michael Porter had a double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Monte Morris added 21 points off the bench, going 5 for 5 from three point range. Jamal Murray sat out with a knee injury and is questionable for Sunday's game.
Stats & Trends
- Celtics are 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win.
- Celtics are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Nuggets are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Nuggets are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
With the addition of Gordon and the emergence of Michael Porter as a legit star in the making, the Nuggets right now just might have the best roster in the NBA. Not only is their starting five great, led by MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, but they have terrific depth, with Monte Morris, Paul Millsap, Facundo Campazzo, and Javale McGee coming off the bench. The Celtics have proven this year that they are not very good on the road and in recent months, they have not been able to beat the top teams in the league. Their defense, typically a strength, has taken a step back this season and they face a team that can hurt you in so many ways. This should be an easy win and cover for the Nuggets, who certainly remember their loss two months ago in Boston. Take the Nuggets here.