Tatum helps Celtics improve their league-best record to 29-12, Nuggets stay top of the West

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The Boston Celtics rode another impressive performance from MVP candidate Jayson Tatum to a 107-99 home win against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, improving their league-best record to 29-12.

Boston also boast a 16-5 home record, and while they have been the NBA's best offense for most of this season, it was their defense getting the job done against the Bulls.

After holding their opponent to under 100 points only four times from their first 37 games this season, the Celtics have now accomplished the feat in two of their past three outings.

While part of the Bulls' offensive issues boiled down to DeMar DeRozan leaving with a quadriceps strain, the Celtics were also able to hold the red-hot Zach Lavine to 40 per cent shooting (10-of-24), despite his otherwise impressive figures of 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Jayson Tatum was clearly the Celtics' best player, scoring a game-high 32 points on 10-of-21 shooting with eight rebounds and seven assists, while Grant Williams chipped in 20 points (eight-of-15 shooting) and eight rebounds off the bench.

Tatum's 30.8 points per game has him sitting fifth in the league, while his field goal percentage of 47.2 is the highest since his rookie year (47.5 per cent).

The loss for the Bulls snaps a three-game winning streak, and leaves them 10th in the Eastern Conference at 19-22.

Nuggets remain top of the West

The Denver Nuggets had no issue dealing with the visiting and LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers, defending home court with a 122-109 triumph.

It was another playmaking masterclass from reigning back-to-back MVP and arguably the greatest playmaking center in the history of the sport, with Nikola Jokic dishing a game-high 16 assists, grabbing 11 rebounds and finishing a perfect five-of-five from the field for his 14 points.

He handed lead-scoring duties to Jamal Murray for the night, and he delivered with a season-high 34 points on 13-of-29 shooting, leaving the Nuggets tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the top seed in the West at 27-13.

Russell Westbrook continues to build his case for Sixth Man of the Year, contributing 25 points (10-of-21 shooting), seven rebounds and seven assists off the Lakers' bench.

Brunson heroics not enough for the Knicks

New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 44 points as his side went down 111-107 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brunson shot 15-of-30 from the field, hitting all 10 of his free throws, but a 38-point final quarter from the Bucks saw them claw back from a deficit that reached 17 points in the third period.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was solid by his standards with 22 points (six-of-15 shooting), 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while offseason signing Joe Ingles impressed off the bench with 17 points (six-of-14 shooting) and five assists.