St. Louisan Jayson Tatum has put together an incredible resume of Game 7 playoff performances during his six-year career in the National Basketball Association with the Boston Celtics.
On Sunday afternoon, Tatum simply outdid himself as he turned in one of the most iconic performances in the storied history of the Celtics franchise in leading them back to the Eastern Conference finals.
"Game 7" Jayson scored 51 points to lead the Celtics past the rival Philadelphia 76ers 112-88 in the seventh and deciding game of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
Tatum's 51 points was a new NBA record in a Game 7, which broke a record that was set only two weeks ago by Steph Curry, who scored 50 points in Golden State's Game 7 victory at Sacramento. Tatum also broke the old Celtics' franchise mark set by Sam Jones, who scored 47 points against the Cincinnati Royals in the 1965 playoffs. Tatum was very aggressive early and often as he scored and got the free throw line. He caught fire in the second quarter as he scored from everywhere to finish the first half with 25 points. The third quarter was even more impressive as he scored 17 points as the Celtics broke open the game after leading 55-52 at halftime.
In addition to his record-setting scoring output, Tatum also had 13 rebounds and five assists to lead Boston in all three categories. He became the fifth player in NBA playoff history to record a game with at least 50 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game. He was 17 of 28 from the field and six of 10 from 3-point range. He also played 42 minutes without committing a single turnover. It was a special performance by Tatum on Mother's Day as his mother, Brandy Cole, sat courtside in the TD Garden Arena.
With the victory, the Celtics will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive year. The Celtics defeated Miami in seven games last season to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. The two teams also met in the Eastern Conference finals in 2020 with Miami winning in six games. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Boston.
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