Jayson Tatum had one heck of a Saturday night.
The Celtics forward dropped a new career high in points with 41 in Boston’s 140-105 blowout win over the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Tatum broke his old career-high in the third quarter and was an impressive 12-of-16 shooting with six treys.
But the 21-year-old wasn’t just an offensive maniac Saturday. He also had a strong game defensively and didn’t commit a turnover in his 30 minutes on the court.
“He was really good,” head coach Brad Stevens said after the game, per Boston Sports Journal’s Brian Robb. “… I thought he made the right plays and obviously made a ton of shots.”
Tatum also joined some impressive company with his 41 points in 30 minutes. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he’s just the second player to have at least 40 points in 30 minutes or fewer. Larry Bird accomplished the feat in 29 minutes in 1986.
“I just think he’s going to be ever-improving,” Stevens said, per CLNS Media’s Mike Petraglia. “… He had the right mindset … attack.”
As for his teammates, they’re just happy to witness what Tatum is doing.
“People always talk about offensively, but he’s just doing an amazing job on both ends,” Enes Kanter said, per The Athletic’s Jay King. “So it’s been unbelievable to just witness it, what he’s doing.”
Gordon Hayward added: “Any time you can score 40 in this league, that’s a big number. I’m happy for him, and that’s the first of many,” he said per King.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Celtics-Pelicans game:
— The C’s dropped 30-plus points in consecutive quarters. This marks the first time the team has done so this season.
They also matched their season-high 140 points. The Celtics dropped 140 against the Washington Wizards on Nov. 13.
— Kanter accounted for 22 points Saturday, a new career-high for the center.
“I joked with him that he was going to go back out there and miss one to pad his stats,” Stevens said per Robb. ” … And then he did.”
According to King, Kanter’s 22 points and 18 rebounds in fewer than 24 minutes is something that hasn’t been done since 1969.
Enes Kanter became the first player to record at least 22 points and 18 rebounds in less than 24 minutes since Paul Silas in 1969. The only other player ever to do it was Dolph Schayes in 1961.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 12, 2020
— Boston is back in action Monday night when it welcomes the Chicago Bulls to TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images