BOSTON — It was a moment that made everyone’s jaw drop.
With the Boston Celtics trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers 71-67 in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday at TD Garden, Jayson Tatum drove down the lane and rose up for a one-handed jam.
LeBron James, as he has so many times against other would-be dunkers throughout his career, jumped to meet Tatum at the rim. But this play won’t be going on James’ career highlight reel. Tatum elevated and threw down a vicious dunk on the 33-year-old star to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Tatum’s slam wouldn’t be enough, though. James scored 35 points and led the Cavs to their fourth straight NBA Finals with an 87-79 win.
After the game, Tatum was asked about dunking on his childhood idol and the chest bump that followed.
“Yeah, I mean I had to get him back for the two shots he hit on me in Cleveland,” Tatum said. “I mean no disrespect by it. You know, just in the moment, I made a play and was just showing emotion.
Tatum is referring to the back-to-back 3-pointers that James hit over him during the Cavs’ Game 6 win at Quicken Loans Arena.
While the rookie most certainly got James back for those daggers 3s, the Cavs star got the last laugh with a ticket to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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