Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart star as Celtics beat Suns


BOSTON – Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each scored 24 points, and the Boston Celtics stopped a three-game slide by beating the Phoenix Suns 123-108 on Friday.

Brown also took 11 rebounds and Smart finished with eight assists, helping the Celtics bounce back from a 91-82 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Robert Williams had 10 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds, and Josh Richardson added 19 points.

The Celtics were without top scorer Jayson Tatum, who was placed on the health and safety protocol list earlier in the week, but Smart returned and the offense responded with a 54 percent shot. Seven players scored in double digits.

Devin Booker scored 22 points for Phoenix and Cam Johnson had 20. Jalen Smith scored 19 and Chris Paul finished with 14 points and eight assists.

The Suns were left without starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder, who missed their third straight game due to health and safety protocols. Coach Monty Williams was also on the protocol list for the third game in a row.

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