BOSTON – Marcus Smart caught the attention of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown after the Boston Celtics lost their third straight game Monday night, saying the star duo need to get their teammates more involved.
“Every team knows we’re trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen,” Smart said after the 128-114 loss to the Chicago Bulls. “Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. And yet those guys don’t pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball.”
Brown and Tatum combined for 48 points, but struggled late in a game that saw the Bulls rebound from a 19-point deficit in the second half. Tatum scored two points on 1-of-8 shots in the fourth quarter, while Brown didn’t score on just two shots.
“That’s something they are going to learn,” Smart said. “They are still learning. We are proud of the progress they are making, but they will have to go one step further and find ways not only to create for themselves, but to create for others on this team to open the gap for themselves later in the game. “.
“It’s something we’ve been asking them to do, and they’re learning. We just have to keep helping those guys do that to help our team,” he said.
The Celtics led 94-75 with about three minutes left in the third quarter and still held a 103-89 lead going into the fourth. But Chicago scored the first 12 points in the fourth to cut the deficit to two points, 103-101, with just over 8 minutes to go.
Ayo Dosunmu, a second-round draft pick who had his first double-digit scoring game with 14 points, hit a triple with 6:53 left to put the Bulls up 106-105. The Celtics briefly regained the lead before Chicago scored 18 of the next 20 points.
“We got up, we got comfortable, we got a little ‘cute’ thinking the game was over in the third quarter,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who fell to 2-5 in his first season in charge. “We started celebrating early. It’s a good lesson learned: If you mess with the game, it will come back to bite you.”
The Bulls improved to 6-1 with the victory.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.