Celtics Notes: Jayson Tatum’s Pair Of Milestones Lifts Boston Past Hawks


February 7, 2020

BOSTON — Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum continued to play on another level as the host C’s were able to pull off their sixth straight win with a 112-107 victory against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on Friday.

Tatum set a pair of career milestones by recording his second consecutive 30-plus point performance. Tatum finished with 32 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field, marking the first time he had scored 30 or more in back-to-back games (scored 33 against Orlando on Wednesday). Tatum has now scored 20-plus points in eight straight games.

It surely was needed for the injury-laden Celtics, who were without both Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown. Tatum said missing the two core pieces played a role in his mindset heading into Friday.

“It’s just, I feel like everybody has to take the mindset of you got to do more on both ends when you’re missing quote-unquote so many points when those guys are (out),” Tatum said. “You know, it’s all about reading the game, who’s on that night. I was hitting a couple shots tonight.”

Much of the reason Tatum was successful was due to his shooting behind the arc, which created another milestone for the 21-year-old. Tatum was an impressive 7-for-12 from 3-point range against the Hawks, which marked the first time he had ever connected on seven triples in a single game.

“He’s special, man,” teammate Kemba Walker said of Tatum. “Me, personally, I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. I think we just starting to see the beginning of some great things to come here. I can’t say much, but he’s special.”

Walker has been one of many Celtics trying to get Tatum to increase his role in the offense. It’s because the veteran guard knows how much it can help the team as a whole.

“When he’s (Tatum) playing well, he’s playing with super confidence,” Walker added. “He’s another guy who’s just always in the gym. He just is — getting stronger, working on his shot, working on his game. It’s no coincidence. Guys are playing well, there’s just no coincidence. Guys are going hard, working on their game and it’s paying off.”

Here are some more notes from Friday’s Celtics-Hawks game:

— The Celtics were lifted by a much-needed third-quarter run.

Boston went on an extended 24-10 stretch over the final seven-plus minutes in the period to take a 87-73 lead into the fourth.

“For us, we were really just moving the ball the right way,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “We were making every right play. And everybody, when they got the ball and they got their shots, they were taking them with confidence. That’s what we need.”

The second half of the run was perhaps even more impressive since Walker sat on the bench for the final 3:38. Walker was on a 30-minute restriction in the contest after returning from a three-game absence.

— Smart went into the crowd on fourth-quarter hustle play. The guard, however, said he’s fine.

“Yeah, that was scary, I ain’t going to lie,” Smart said. “But thank God for my hair, I probably would’ve had a concussion by now, I hit my head pretty hard.”

— Enes Kanter put together an impressive double-double performance.

The Celtics center scored 16 points and added 15 rebounds, including a ridiculous one-handed offensive board that you can watch below.

With his most recent 15-rebound outing, Kanter now has each of the top-three rebound performances for the team this season. He also had a season-high 19 against New Orleans and 18 against Detroit.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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