25 years old Boston Celtics The forward scored 17 of his Game 7-record 51 points in a slick, buoyant third quarter Philadelphia Seventy Sixers Under the weight of an electric house crowd. total points in win 112-88 He overshadowed the mark he set Golden State Warriors Superstar Stephen Curry two weeks ago.
You knew the night was special when legendary sportswriter Bob Ryan, who began his Celtics career shortly after Bill RussellHis eleventh and final championship in 1969 tells you that Tatum’s feat was the greatest game he’d ever seen live from someone dressed in a Celtics uniform. (Ryan will indicate that he was in Los Angeles When Larry Bird dropped 39-12-10 on New York Knicks In the second round match 7.)
“You never know what might happen,” Ryan said. “That’s why you appear.”
No one has ever looked quite like Tatum. The game was tied, 55-55, in the first minute of the second period, when . Tatum scored 10 straight points, including three consecutive three-pointers on the game’s MVP Joel Embiid, during a 28-3 innings in which the Sixers choked. game over. The sequence has ended. Good afternoon.
“It was nice to see,” said the Celtics veteran. Alhorford. “I don’t know if I’ll go back to watch the whole game. I’ll have to move on, but I might just go back and see what we did, because it was impressive.”
It was Tatum’s defensive effort during the same stretch that cemented this as the all-time grab. On one possession midway through the third quarter, Tatum defended a quick guard Therese Maxi On the perimeter, he stabbed the ball at Embiid and doubled his seven foot to force a shot clock violation. Tatum turned over a one-time MVP James Harden minutes later, resulting in another spin. Tatum was the anchor as 13 Sixers straight empty possessions turned a tight Game 7 into an 83-58 celebration.
Tatum fed frenzied fans in a way we usually only see from Curry in the Bay Area. As he scurried around the Horford screen to dig his fourth of his six three-pointers, forcing the second timeout of Doc Rivers’ three-pointers over five minutes, Tatum walked to center field, pointed to the slogan and said, “This is my s***.”
This was performance art.
“It’s a movie,” said the Celtics guard. Marcus Smart, who finished +31 in 39 minutes, second only to Tatum’s +33. “It’s a big movie. Being able to sit back, eat your popcorn and watch it, sometimes we get into this mode where we forget we’re on the court playing with him and we have to keep playing, because he can hit hard shots and get hot like he did tonight.” .It’s beautiful to watch.”
With each successive bucket, Tatum admired himself, at one point exclaiming, “Oh my God,” turning each time to his front row family division, as if they were the conduit through which he got to the ring. It was just two nights when Tatum started 1-for-14 from the field in a must-win Game 6.
“I can’t express it enough, the true love I feel from the fans,” said Tatum, who added 13 rebounds, 5 assists and not a single turnover in 42 minutes of Game 7. Free throw line, I’ve been here my whole career. I feel like they are hugging me almost like one of their own, which means a lot. I like to be here. I love wearing this uniform. I love getting to play great games, and putting on great performances in front of them. It nurtures passion and energy, and that’s mutual. “
“Winning the playoffs is very difficult,” the co-star added Jaylen Brownwho scored 25 points. “It takes a lot of sacrifice, intensity, passion and hard work. We’re looking forward to winning more matches and continuing that process. All I can say is, all praise to the Most High. We are both very grateful to be here.”
In the locker room after Game 7, Tatum told his teammates that he understood how difficult it would be for the Sixers to get back on a plane to Boston after offloading Thursday’s loss. He said, “They beat us.” “We are done”. And then they weren’t, because Tatum sparked a fourth quarter that started Sunday hell.
“It was definitely in my mind that I played as hard as I could go for 43 minutes,” Tatum said of his poor performance two nights earlier. “We have a saying, ‘Only there from here.'” They put us on the ropes in Game 6. The end of that third, going into the fourth, it was a back-and-forth game, and the crowd was into it. We had it, and we found a way to win. That was a great feeling to win. So, back home.”
Meanwhile, the delighted Brandi Cole waited in the foyer for her son, a rising star. Tatum had just wrapped her own as a Mother’s Day gift, complete with a trip to Miami to the Eastern Conference Finals.
“You got it right,” she said.
Just then, Rivers passed by the Tatum River, half-joking, “An overabundance of delight in this delicious porch.”
“On to the next one,” said Mike Zarin, Celtics vice president of basketball operations. How do you even play another game after a night that felt like a heroic celebration? “Two days rest.”
This is all Boston has before hosting the Heat First game on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. EST). Having split two meetings with Miami in the Conference Finals over the past three seasons, Tatum and company know all about… Jimmy ButlerAnd Bam Adebayo and the rest of the challenger who fights harder than the most talented Sixers. The Celtics also know that their recent victory over Philadelphia makes them favorites for the title.
Back inside the locker room, as his teammates took turns congratulating Tatum, he removed ice from the bucket in which he was soaking his weary feet. The trainers added more just to cool it down. He finished his protein shake and threw it in a trash can in the corner. I opened up, the only clean look I’ve missed all night.