Larry Bird (left) Jayson Tatum (right)

Larry Bird (left) Jayson Tatum (right)

After leading his Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference championship, St. Louisan Jayson Tatum forever linked his name with one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. 
 
Tatum was selected as the inaugural winner of Larry Bird Trophy, which went to the Most Valuable Player of the ECF, moments after the Celtics 100-96 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 7 on Sunday night in Florida. Bird was a legendary forward who led the Celtics to three world championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986. It seemed fitting that the first winner of the trophy named after him would go to another talented 6'9" forward who plays for the Celtics.
 
Tatum scored a team-high 26 points to lead the Celtics, along with 10 rebounds, six assists, four 3-pointers and just two turnovers in 46 minutes. For the series, he averaged 25 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists while shooting 46 percent from the field.
 
Sunday night's big game by Tatum also added to his legacy as a Game 7 performer on the biggest stage. In five Game 7s in his career, Tatum is now averaging 24.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists a game. The Celtics are also 4-1 in those games. In leading Boston to its first NBA Finals appearance in 12 years, Tatum has gone through established stars such as Kevin Durant of Brooklyn, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler of Miami.
 Boston will head to San Francisco to play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The series begins Thursday at 8 p.m. (St. Louis time).
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