Tatum scores 49 points as Celtics defeat Heat; Booker dominates Bulls

MIAMI (AFP) -- Jayson Tatum put up a season-high 49 points as the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics enjoyed a 134-121 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Haywood Highsmith of the Miami Heat and Kyle Lowry try to stop Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics during the second half at TD Garden on November 30, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (AFP)

With the victory, in front of the watching British royals Prince William and his wife Kate, the Celtics extended their home winning streak to 10 games.

It was Tatum's ninth 30-point game in November, tying his personal best month -- only Larry Bird has produced more 30-point games in a calendar month for the storied Boston team.

Tatum, who received chants of "MVP" whenever he went to the free-throw line, shot 15 of 25 from the floor, made eight of his 12 three-point attempts, as well as 11 of 12 free throws. He also collected 11 rebounds.

The 24-year-old set the tone of Boston's dominance from the outset, scoring six points in the opening minute and putting 28 points on the board by half-time.

The Heat tried to keep pace with their free-scoring opponents, with Max Strus and Bam Adebayo scoring 23 points each. Adebayo was ejected in the final moments after two technical fouls.

The fifth straight win for the Celtics (18-4) came in what was a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference final and although Miami were without their star forward Jimmy Butler, Tatum felt it was a significant result.

"This is good test, it is a team we have been competing against for the last couple of years and regardless of who is in, or out, we know we are going to get their best," he said.

Devin Booker produced a blistering 51 points before the end of the third quarter as Western Conference leaders the Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls 132-113.

Booker reached his tally in less than 31 minutes on court with 20 of 25 from the field and 6 of 7 three-point attempts.

"You hate to say classic Book, because you almost take it for granted," said Suns head coach Monty Williams.

"It certainly was a special night and to do it in 30 minutes, it's just one of those moments that you just sit and watch a guy get hot," he added.

Deandre Ayton helped out with 30 points and 15 rebounds, his seventh straight double-double in what was a sixth straight win for Phoenix.

The Denver Nuggets kept on the tails of the Suns at the top of the West thanks to a 120-100 win over the Houston Rockets with Jamal Murray scoring 26 points.

The Utah Jazz ended their five-game losing streak with a 125-112 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Salt Lake City.

Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 33 points for the Jazz while John Wall had 26 points off the bench for the Clippers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo made 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New York Knicks 109-103.

Kevin Durant had 39 points in the Brooklyn Nets' 113-107 win over the Washington Wizards with his 351st career 30-point game taking him past Jerry West as the eighth most in NBA history.

Durant followed up his season-high 45 points in Monday's win over Orlando with another fine display, as Brooklyn condemned the Wizards to their fourth loss in five games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers crushed the Philadelphia 76ers 113-85 with Caris LeVert scoring 22 points, while Darius Garland had 21 points and nine assists.

The Atlanta Hawks ended a three-game losing streak as they beat the Orlando Magic 125-109, with Trae Young putting up 30 points.

The defeat was the sixth straight loss for the Magic, despite the return from injury of Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony. Franz Wagner top scored with 22 points for Orlando.

Zion Williams had 33 points and Trey Murphy 26 as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Toronto Raptors 126-108.

The Pelicans had led by 31 points in the third quarter before Toronto closed the gap. Gary Trent Jr scored 35 points for the Raptors.