BOSTON (CBS) — With the Celtics going through elimination on Friday night time, they wanted a celebrity efficiency out of Jayson Tatum. That is strictly what they bought from the 24-year-old, who painted an absolute masterpiece in Boston’s 108-95 victory in Milwaukee, forcing a deciding Game 7 in opposition to the Bucks in Boston on Sunday.
Tatum was electrical all through the win, scoring a game-high 46 factors to outduel Giannis Antetokounmpo (44 factors) on his residence flooring. Tatum scored 15 of these factors within the fourth quarter, together with 10 straight after the Bucks had minimize the Boston result in simply 4 factors.
No second was too huge for Tatum in Game 6. He shot 53 % (17-for-32) general and hit 5 of his seven photographs within the fourth. Tatum had his full bag of methods working for him, whether or not it was from downtown or across the rim. He made seven of his 15 makes an attempt from three-point vary, and his fadeaway was as easy as silk. He was additionally greater than keen to drive to the ring and take contact, punishing the Bucks on the rim with seven makes across the basket.
“It was a bigtime performance. Backs against the wall, you love to see JT come out aggressively and carry us like he did,” Jaylen Brown stated after the win. “Definitely a signature game for the Celtics and for Jayson.”
“That’s why he gets paid the big bucks,” stated Marcus Smart.
Tatum had 18 factors at halftime, scoring 9 factors in each the primary and second quarter. He hit all three of his deep photographs within the opening quarter, after which began to go to work inside within the second. He began the body with a phenomenal spinning layup, and added one other a couple of minutes later to push Boston’s result in seven. At that time, it was clear that Tatum was locked in.
He was as much as 31 factors on the finish of the third quarter when he completed the body with a driving and-1 and a grimy step again two (initially dominated a 3 however later modified in the course of the break) that had the Celtics up by 14 factors.
After what occurred to Boston’s 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5, Tatum and the Celtics have been decided to not let historical past repeat itself on Friday night time. But as Tatum bought a relaxation on the bench to start out the fourth, the Bucks chipped away at Boston’s benefit. The lead was down to 6 when Tatum checked again in, and all the way down to 4 after Giannis hit a 3.
With the sport — and Boston’s season — was on the road, Tatum took issues to a brand new stage.
“I knew that I had it going on the offensive end. It just boils down to with 5-6 minutes left, this was our season on the line,” he stated on the podium. “Leave it all on the floor. That was the mindset I had, the mindset we all had. I wasn’t going to leave anything out there and have any regrets.”
With the sting of Wednesday night time on his thoughts, Tatum placed on a clinic. He began his majestic run with a grimy fadeaway off an inbound cross because the shot clock went off. After Pat Connaughton minimize Boston’s lead again to 4 with a layup, Tatum splashed in a 3 with the shot clock winding all the way down to push Boston’s result in seven. His easy fallaway on Boston’s subsequent possession had the lead as much as 9.
Tatum missed a layup after a Giannis dunk, and one other Connaughton hoop within the paint made issues uneasy with the Boston’s lead down to 5. But Derrick White fed him on the wing, and Tatum calmly drained his seventh three of the night time to make it a 95-87 recreation with 5:40 left.
His shot was his paintbrush throughout that stretch, as none of his makes hit any iron.
This 4th quarter takeover from Jayson Tatum was INSANE 🔥
Didn’t contact rim as soon as, all internet 🎯 pic.twitter.com/E7W9RNDxu7
— Celtics Junkies (@Celtics_Junkies) May 14, 2022
A driving and-1 with 2:38 left sealed the win for the Celtics, and he scored his remaining factors of the night time on the free throw line with below two minutes to go. It capped off an unbelievable 43 minutes for the face of the franchise.
Tatum’s 46 factors are the second-most by a Celtic in an elimination recreation, behind solely Sam Jones’ 47 factors in a Game 7 win over Cincinnati in 1963. It tied Paul Pierce’s 46 factors in Boston’s series-clinching win over the 76ers within the first spherical of the 2002 playoffs.
This was the sport that his critics stated Tatum wasn’t able to having. He made the massive leap that some questioned whether or not or not he may make. Tatum took over in one of many largest strain conditions in sports activities, with Boston going through elimination on the street, and had his best efficiency in a Celtics uniform.
On Friday night time, Jayson Tatum was the celebrity we knew he might be — and is — for the Boston Celtics.
“That’s what we lean on him to do,” stated Smart. “He came in and did what he did, took the game over in the fourth and brought it home.
“He went into another mode and you could see it in his eyes,” Smart stated of Tatum’s fourth quarter run. “He wanted the ball and we gave him the ball. We put it in his hands and let him create for us and himself.”
Even Antetokounmpo was in awe of Tatum’s efficiency on Friday night time.
“He was unbelievable. Knocking down tough shots, getting his spots. He led his team to a win,” stated Giannis. “As a team I thought we did a good job getting in front of him and contesting shots but he made them, and you have to respect that.”
Tatum stated that he wasn’t making an attempt to match Antetokounmpo, who additionally had it going with an epic 44-point, 20-rebound efficiency. Tatum’s solely purpose Friday was to get the win so the Celtics may see one other day.
“I know when I had it going. You feel that rhythm. But it’s not matching what someone else is doing,” he stated. “It’s finding you spots, knowing the time and score, the situation of the game, and being aggressive and making the right play.”
Tatum did that over, and over, and over, and over once more on Friday night time. Now the world waits to see what he’ll do for an encore in Sunday’s Game 7 at TD Garden.
“Game 7s are the biggest and best games. I’m looking forward to it,” stated Tatum. “Winning this game and giving ourselves a chance, this is it. It’s do or die. It’s going to be fun. It’s basketball on the biggest moments on the biggest stage.”