Luka Doncic hails Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as the best duo in the NBA

BOSTON — Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic praised the Celtics’ star tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ahead of Wednesday’s game in Boston.

“They are probably No. 1 in the league and also probably have the best duo in the league,” said Doncic. “And we’re in the garden – it’s always a special game. You have to come 100%. If you don’t, you will likely lose. It’s a big game.”

Doncic, in his fifth NBA season, comes in Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) as the NBA’s leading scorer with 33.5 points per game while averaging 9.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 1 .9 steals made.

Tatum and Brown are the league’s most successful duo, averaging 55.5 points per game — just ahead of the 76ers’ tandem of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey (55.2) — earning Doncic’s respect in the process.

“I was just watching their game,” said Doncic. “I think a lot of people can see that. I think how they play. I know people try to separate them but they fit together, they reached the final last year so I think the two really are great players.”

Even after ending their nine-game winning streak Monday in Chicago against the Bulls, Boston go into Wednesday night’s game with a 13-4 record, including a 6-1 record at TD Garden, with the NBA still having the best record.

Boston owes its success to its powerful offense, second only to the surprising Kings in terms of offensive efficiency.

Doncic said another reason for his high praise for Boston is that the Celtics managed to have the NBA’s best record since center Robert Williams III missed the entire season so far following knee surgery in September.

“They have one of the best records and they’re missing, I think, an important man, Williams III,” Doncic said. “I’m impressed with his game, I’ve always liked his game. So since he’s out and they have that record, I said that.”

With 20% of the season on the books, Dallas sits eighth in the Western Conference with a 9-7 record — but just 1.5 games behind first, showing just how compact the West chart is this season.

The Mavericks are 9-7 after losing Jalen Brunson in free agency thanks to Doncic, who continued to develop into one of the league’s standout talents and took his game to a new level.

“It’s a lot,” Doncic said of the workload he’s taken on this season. “You have to be physically prepared. I think this summer has helped me. Some games I’m really tired because it’s a lot of basketball, I’ve never stopped playing basketball for two years, but I’m just happy to be able to play basketball to play .”

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