Written by By Lisa Parker, CNN
It was truly a send-off to remember.
On Wednesday, David West and Marcus Smart blew by James Harden and the Houston Rockets en route to an 112-102 victory, sending the Celtics’ best players out with a bang — and revenge for Game 2.
Tatum’s , named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, was the best of them all, as the young star scored a team-high 24 points in 30 minutes. Tatum opened up the scoring early with a 17-foot jumper, and never looked back.
“I was getting good looks from the start and I was trying to be aggressive tonight,” Tatum said, “but I was able to drive early and get to the rim. I think I got seven early layups because of that.”
Tatum added three steals, and was a force on the glass, adding 17 rebounds in all, helping to lead the Celtics to a second-half surge. They got outscored 40-26 in the second half, yet still ended the game with a 90-71 lead.
The win over the Rockets (20-40) was Boston’s fifth straight. With the win, they took control of second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, who they currently hold a 2.5 game lead.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (left) and guard Marcus Smart (right) battle for possession of the ball against Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul in a 114-93 win on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017.
The win came a day after all-star guard Isaiah Thomas sustained a severe hip injury in Boston’s home loss to New York Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old sidelined was hurt after colliding with New York forward Kristaps Porzingis in a game-ending injury. He is expected to miss “significant time,” according to the Boston Celtics.