Jayson Tatum's 36 points ended up being just enough for the Boston Celtics to overcome the Chicago Bulls 123-119 on Friday.
In front of Boston's home fans, the Celtics used a 37-26 second quarter to fight back from a sluggish start and take a 63-57 lead into the halftime break.
Chicago's DeMar DeRozan would try to will his side back into the contest in the third period, putting up 16 points in the quarter to trim the lead to 88-85 and set up a thrilling final term.
DeRozan added another 11 points in the fourth, going on to finish with a game-high 46 as he lived at the free throw line. He hit 13 of his 23 field goal attempts, and added another 20 points from his 22 free throw attempts.
Tatum put together his big game in a similar fashion, although he was less efficient from the field. He finished eight-of-23, but hit 17-of-20 from the free throw line, and had 11 points of his own in the final quarter to repel the Bulls' late charge.
Tatum's running-mate Jaylen Brown had a quieter game, scoring 16 points on six-of-14 shooting, but Malcolm Brogdon rose to the occasion off the Celtics' bench.
Brogdon was clearly Boston's second-best player, shooting a hyper-efficient nine-of-10 from the field to put up 25 points and four assists in 29 minutes.
Vintage JT pic.twitter.com/8VTMHavLDH— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 5, 2022
Luka magic leads to eighth straight 30-point performance
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is now one of two players to ever score at least 30 points in the first eight games of an NBA season, putting up 35 in a 111-110 win against the Toronto Raptors.
Doncic joins the great Wilt Chamberlain in that honour, with the 'Big Dipper' accomplishing it on two occasions. Chamberlain started the 1959-60 season with eight consecutive 30-point games, before hitting that benchmark in the first 23 games of the 1962-63 season for a record that will likely never be broken.
The 23-year-old Slovenian was 10-of-15 from the field for his 35 points, and he added eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block.
O.G. Anunoby was the shining light for the Raptors, putting up 27 points (11-of-21 shooting) with seven rebounds and five steals.
Mathurin shows star potential for the Pacers
Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin flashed some intriguing upside as he scored 23 points off the bench in a 101-99 upset win against the Miami Heat.
Mathurin, the sixth overall pick from this year's NBA Draft, has now scored at least 23 points in four of his nine NBA games, and has only scored fewer than 15 points on one occasion.
The six-foot-six scoring wing was five-of-11 from the field, three-for-seven from long range and 10-of-12 from the free throw line in a well-rounded performance, finishing with a plus/minus of plus four in his 37 minutes.
the chasedown block from Bennedict Mathurin.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 5, 2022
watch him time this up. pic.twitter.com/sYst0B72Dc
Bucks win again, remain undefeated
The Milwaukee Bucks, who are still missing All-Star Khris Middleton, continue to look like the best team in the league after moving to 8-0 with a convincing 115-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In a game where two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was not scoring the ball efficiently, finishing with 26 points on seven-of-17 shooting and a poor 10-of-20 from the free throw line, Jrue Holiday picked up the slack.
To Antetokounmpo's credit, he also added 13 rebounds and 11 assists for a strong triple-double, but Holiday was the star of the show, shooting 50 per cent from the field (12-of-24) for his 29 points, while grabbing eight rebounds, dishing six assists and snatching two steals to round out a terrific performance.
It is the first time in the Bucks' franchise history they have started a season 8-0.
JRU3333!! pic.twitter.com/MprpIbSnCQ— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 5, 2022