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Brown, returning Tatum lead Celtics over Bulls 119-103

Chicago — Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum added 24 after missing five games because of COVID-19 protocols and the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 119-103 on Monday night.

Brown had another solid game following his 33-point outing in Sunday’s romp over Cleveland.

Tatum made three 3-pointers and had five assists over 31 minutes in his first appearance since Jan. 8.

Daniel Theis scored 19 points and Marcus Smart added 13 while tying a career high with 11 assists as the Celtics won their second straight.

Zach LaVine led Chicago with 30 points and shot 6 of 10 on 3s. Lauri Markkanen scored 18 and Thaddeus Young just missed a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, but the Bulls dropped their second in a row after three consecutive wins.

Smart scored 13 and Brown and Tatum added 11 points each as the Celtics grabbed a 60-50 halftime lead.

Theis' alley-oop dunk and layup in the final 30 seconds sent Boston to the locker room up by 10 and set off an 18-2 run.

Brown scored seven as the Celtics reeled off the first 11 points in the third quarter. Tatum answered a hook shot by Young with a 3-pointer to make it 74-52, and the Celtics withstood a few pushes by Chicago to come away with the win.

TIP-INS

Celtics: The team held out G Kemba Walker. The four-time All-Star played the previous four games after missing the first 11 because of a left knee injury. ... Coach Brad Stevens said Tatum wasn't on a specific minutes restriction, though the Celtics weren't going to let him reach the high 30s.

Bulls: C Wendell Carter Jr. (bruised right quadriceps) will be evaluated toward the end of the week after he missed his third consecutive game. Coach Billy Donovan said Carter is improving, though he hasn't been participating in any on-court activities. The Bulls are off until Portland visits on Saturday. Their game at Memphis on Wednesday got called off because of the Grizzlies' COVID-19 issues.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Were scheduled to visit DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. Whether the Celtics actually make that trip was up in the air after Monday's game between the Spurs and Pelicans was postponed because the NBA determined neither team would have enough players available. “My thought would be we should not fly there until we know. That’s the bottom line. That’s my only thought going through my mind with all the travel we have coming up,” Stevens said.

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