The Celtics beat the Bulls at Chicago, 119-103, in a game notable for Jayson Tatum’s return from COVID isolation, a career-high 11 assists for Marcus Smart, and a glimpse of the knockdown shooting Aaron Nesmith could bring to this squad.

Boston took the lead early and held off Chicago’s repeated comeback attempts all night. The Celtics won every quarter while shooting 50.6% from the field and 51.7% (15 of 29) from deep, with 28 assists.

Jaylen Brown scored 26 and Tatum 24, both of them shooting 10 of 21. Daniel Theis added 18 points, Tristan Thompson had a Rodman game (10 rebounds, 0 shots taken), and Nesmith was 3 of 5 from the arc. Zach LaVine led Chicago with 30, hitting a half-dozen triples.

Tatum returned after not playing for five games and 17 days. Kemba Walker sat out to rest his knee on the second night of a back-to-back.

Was Tatum rusty? Nope. Early minutes…

Jaylen continued his recent smoking-hot streak.

Overall strong first quarter.

Second quarter, the rookie made an impact, drilling a pair of threes.

Theis was nice, closing the half with a dunk and layup.

Boston scored the first 7 points of the third quarter to go up 71-50.

The lead reached 22 but…

Smart was having a game.

Still in control after three.

The Bulls scrapped to within 9 points early in the fourth. The Celts responded.

Carsen hit a 4-point play!

Once, again, Chicago came back to cut the lead to 10. But Grant Williams – who didn’t play until the fourth quarter – was clutch!

Grant also drilled a three and-one, the team’s second 4-point play of the night. And that was the ballgame.

This article first appeared on The Sports Daily and was syndicated with permission.

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