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Jayson Tatum’s marathon against Golden State good time to talk playing time

Jayson Tatum was out for Saturday's Celtics game in Toronto after playing the final 41 minutes of Thursday's overtime victory against Golden State.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

TORONTO — Jayson Tatum played the final 41 minutes of Boston’s overtime win over the Warriors on Thursday without any rest. He said coach Joe Mazzulla offered him a chance to catch a breather with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, but he declined, and later acknowledged he will never leave a game if the decision is his.

On Saturday, Mazzulla said that his brief discussion with Tatum was more of a quick check-in than a suggestion.

“I mean, you ask the question to generate a conversation and kind of take it from there,” Mazzulla said. “So, it’s more just like a dialogue and making sure we’re on the same page, seeing how he’s feeling. Even though I asked the question, I wasn’t going to take him out.”


Tatum played 48 total minutes and struggled at times, going just 9 for 27 from the field with seven turnovers, three over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter. Mazzulla admitted there can be a fine line between empowering players and making decisions about their playing time that are best for them and the team, but that he felt good about Tatum’s expanded workload in this case.

“I thought his effort didn’t wane,” Mazzulla said. “I thought he was giving us really good energy without it, so I just went with that instinct.”

Tatum missed Saturday’s game against the Raptors to rest his sore left wrist; Derrick White started in his place. Mazzulla said Tatum is expected to return against the Magic on Monday.

Hauser hitting the hills

Sam Hauser was a revelation at the start of this season. The second-year forward connected on 46 of 96 3-pointers (47.9 percent) in October and November, helping ignite a Boston offense that vaulted to the top of the NBA behind its scorching 3-point shooting.

He has cooled off considerably since then. Hauser has made just 21 of 73 3-pointers (28.8 percent) in December and January. He sat out a second straight game Saturday, and is 0 for 6 over his last four games.


“It’s a long season and he got off to such a really, really good start that it’s about handling the ups and downs of an NBA season,” Mazzulla said. “Every player goes through it regardless of how long they’ve been in the league and you just have to handle it, manage it, continue to work, and he does that. He brings a great attitude every single day, so he’ll be fine.”

Mazzulla said he’s confident Hauser will regain his stroke, but that for him and other young bench players, preparation and effort on the defensive end will play an even bigger role when determining playoff roles.

Good with the game

When Raptors coach Nick Nurse was asked before Saturday’s game what NBA rule he would change if he had the authority, he said he would eliminate coaches’ challenges. Asked the same question later, Mazzulla made it clear that he didn’t care.

“I don’t care what the rules are,” Mazzulla said. “You’ve just got to play.”

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.