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Boston Celtics

Huge night from Jayson Tatum lifts Boston Celtics over LA Clippers in 2OT

In a battle of two teams vying for one of the top seeds in their respective conferences, this one did not disappoint.

The NBA All-Star break was put on hold to find a winner, as it took two extra periods for the Boston Celtics to claim the 141-133 win over the LA Clippers.

With a number of huge individual performances, let's take a look at just a few of the takeaways.

Jayson Tatum is a tough shot maker

Tatum put on a clinic on this night.

Often known for taking difficult shots and at times being a streaky shooter, Tatum pieced together a monumental performance for Boston against the Clippers, logging 48 minutes of game time.

Tatum poured in 39 points to fall just two shy of his career-high mark, with his most dominant stretch coming in crunch time.

Scoring five points in the final 2:38 of regulation, Tatum would then drop eight points in the first overtime, ensuring his squad would go blow for blow with a Clippers team that refused to go away.

FInishing 14-for-23 from the field and 5-for-10 from beyond the 3-point line, it was an efficient scoring night for the 21-year-old who was averaging 22.1 points per game coming in to the night.

With his first All-Star appearance just days away, Tatum could have easily been distracted against the Clippers, but it wasn't the case, and his effort became a game winning one that his team needed.

Marcus Smart the gunner

Throughout his career, Marcus Smart has been a guy the opposition want shooting from the outside.

Bucking the trend, Smart was a 36 percent shooter on 4.3 attempts per game in 2018-19, and has now leaned further into the shooting role, launching 6.3 long range bombs per appearance in 2019-20.

Against the Clippers, that number was dwarfed, as the determined guard would jack up 14 attempts from 3-point range, connecting on five of those.

Overall, Smart finished with 31 points after going 5-for-6 from 2-point range and 6-for-8 from the free throw line.

It still feels like opposition defenses would like to take their chances on Smart shooting from the outside over Tatum, Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward, but at least for now, Smart is hitting 35.2 percent of his attempts.

That mark is more than respectable which might be fortunate, because it doesn't look like he is ready to stop letting it fly.

Paul George injured..again

Paul George managed just 14:46 of playing time in this one before succombing to a left hamstring strain.

The severity of the injury is unknown, and George would finish the night with just four points on 2-for-7 shooting.

Having missed 21 games prior to tonight, another stint on the sideline would be less than ideal to say the least, particularly with the Clippers locked in a battle for playoff seeding at the top of the Western Conference.

The Clippers are 14-7 with George out of the lineup and 23-11 with the star forward.

Lou Williams led the Clippers with 35 points and Kawhi Leonard had 28, but the two combined to shoot just 24-for-60 from the field.

LA enter the All-Star break one game back of the Denver Nuggets in the No. 2 seed, though they may have a bigger concern on their immediate minds: the health of Paul George.

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