Jayson Tatum continued his All-NBA level stretch Wednesday as Boston traveled to the Charlotte Hornets and battled to an impressive road victory, and the Celtics star made some franchise history in the process.
Tatum scored a game-high 44 points against the Hornets on Wednesday after dropping 54 points against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Those 98 (!) points in two games tied a franchise record for most points in a two-game span. And given that those two games took place after a 37-point game over the Memphis Grizzlies, Tatum now holds the franchise record for most points in a three-game span, according to Celtics reporter Taylor Snow.
Tatum has averaged 42 points, six rebounds and 4.5 assists on 56% from the field and 46% from long range throughout the last four games, according to StatMuse. He is playing himself into the superstar conversation, and those around him know it.
“Yeah, it’s great. It’s huge obviously,” Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said when asked about the luxury of having Tatum. “We talk about relying on our defense as a team, but to always have a guy you can kind of just go to put it in his hands and then him figure it out. Not only the scoring aspect, it’s the attention he draws and the wide-open shots he gets for everybody else.
“Obviously he’s been on a crazy tear right now,” Udoka added. “He’s getting the matchups he wants, getting to the spots he wants and getting the shot he wants. And so that’s a huge luxury, obviously, to have one guy that can do that, but everybody else is feeding off him as well.”
One of the players feeding off Tatum is Derrick White. Udoka noted how Marcus Smart and White, specifically, have added to their assist numbers while keeping their turnovers down. Boston finished with 30 assists on 46 made baskets Wednesday, proving how ball movement continues to be a calling card of the team.
“It’s been fun to watch. Personally, on this side, I enjoy it,” White said of Tatum’s stretch. “He’s super talented, but he’s doing it within the offense and he’s doing a good job of finding guys, make them double team, stuff like that. So it’s been fun to play with and fun to see.”
Tatum looks poised to repeat as Eastern Conference Player of the Week, and the Celtics now have six of their last seven and 15 of their last 17. Boston will return to TD Garden on Thursday as the C’s play host to the Detroit Pistons.