“Fire and Ice” (Nuggets-Celtics; 12.06.19)

Yusuf Abdullah/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief


BOSTON — The Hick from French Lick. Hondo. The Truth. The way that the latest iteration of stars wearing a Boston Celtics jersey — Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum — are playing these days, a self-anointed nickname may very well become interwoven in the legacy of the hallowed franchise.

Boston’s forward pair combined for 47 points and especially turned up their games late in the first half in leading the Celtics to a 108-95 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at TD Garden.

Kemba Walker added 19 points as Boston improved to 9-0 at home this season, the Celtics’ best start to a home campaign since the 2007-08 NBA championship team began 12-0.

Brown and Tatum took turns in taking over the scoring load in the first half, with Brown pouring in 11 points during the first frame before Tatum went for 10 in the second. Tatum provided the highlight of the night in the third, draining a step-back three-pointer just before the buzzer to open up a 21-point lead for the Celtics at 85-64.

“Those guys are still getting better,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said about Brown and Tatum. “They’re clearly improving in a lot of areas but I think they’re really enjoying playing together and figuring it out with the rest of our team. And it is more fun to be a central player that we’re going to in those occasions, and they’re taking advantage of it and doing a really good job of it.”

One could say that Brown was on fire all game and Tatum coolly put the game to bed. Actually, the person who might have put those thoughts in the air was Brown himself.

“It’s like fire and ice,” Brown said about how both he and Tatum play off of each other.”

The end-of-third-quarter sequence was the biggest example of how close they were to being forces of nature on the court together. With Boston up 16, Tatum gathered a steal and fed to Brown for a monster dunk in transition. On the subsequent defensive possession, Brown contested a three-pointer and the rebound was grabbed by Tatum, who ended the quarter with his three-pointer to put the game away before the fourth quarter began.

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